There are a various range of exercises recommended for the rehab of a meniscal tear. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the exercises that can be done at any stage of a conservative rehab, and after being given the green light by your doctor following knee surgery. These exercises are designed to strengthen the group of muscles attaching to the knee joint:
Wall sits isometrics. This exercise is basic but used for many knee injury rehab programs. Start by placing your whole back against the wall, with a mild flexion of both hips and knees, averaging 120 degrees. From this position, lift one leg up off the floor, so your bodyweight is only resting on one leg. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds depending on the difficulty of doing the exercise and/or your pain level. This exercise can be repeated 3 times for each leg.
Knee extension. You can do this exercise while seated and it shouldn’t take more than 5-10 mins to complete. Sit with both legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Flex the foot of the affected leg. Start by slowly straightening the leg until it is fully straight. Then in a controlled movement slowly bring your foot back to the starting position. This exercise can be repeated 10 times each side, for 2-3 sets.
Hamstrings curl. This exercise can be performed with and without the resistance of an elastic band. Lie on your stomach, with your legs fully extended flat on the floor. Bring your heel towards the buttocks, one foot at a time, while maintaining a flexion of your foot in order to only activate the hamstrings. Slowly bring your leg down to the floor in a controlled manner. This exercise can be repeated 10 times for each side, for 2-3 sets. You can add more loading into the hamstrings by attaching an elastic band to your ankle creating a traction effect in the opposite direction of the movement you are performing.
*It is recommended to get the OK from your GP, Osteopath or Physiotherapist before doing any of these exercises.