Meniscus Tear : Golf Injuries

Golf can put a lot of strain on the knees, particularly during the backswing. A meniscus tear is generally the most common knee injury in golf.

Where is the Meniscus?

The meniscus is found in the knee joint and is attached to the tibia (leg bone). There are two in each knee; they act as shock absorbers and help to maintain the stability of the knee joint.

What Causes a Meniscus Tear?

The knee is particularly susceptible to damage during the backswing when it is in a semi-bent position. If the knee is twisted too sharply when the foot is in a fixed position, the meniscus can become trapped between the femur (thighbone) and tibia (leg bone), causing a tear. Novice golfers are more likely to suffer this injury due to poor positioning of the feet, whereas older golfers can be vulnerable to knee damage as the joint becomes weakened over time.

What are the Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear?

There will be pain in the affected area and possibly at the back of the knee as well. The knee will become inflammed within a couple of hours of sustaining the injury. The knee may feel unstable, depending on how substantial the tear is.

How Can a Meniscus Tear be Prevented?

Correcting your stance and swing action will help to prevent this kind of injury. Having lessons if you are a novice and wearing sports insoles in your golf shoes will help you to achieve this. Strengthening and conditioning the quadriceps and hamstrings will also cut the risk of a meniscus tear by reducing the amount of pressure that is placed on the knee joint during the golf swing. Having flexible, conditioned muscles will give you more control over your movements in general.

How is a Meniscus Tear Treated?

Resting the injured knee, applying ice (never directly to the skin) and taking anti-inflammatory medication will help to reduce pain and swelling immediately after sustaining the injury. If the tear is quite small, physiotherapy will help to heal the injury. Exercises that build up the thigh muscles will reduce the risk of the injury recurring. If the tear is quite large, arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery may have to be performed to remove the damage section of the meniscus.

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