Home > Blog > Physiotherapy > Conditions > Knee Pain > Discoid Meniscus Physiotherapy

Discoid Meniscus Physiotherapy

Discoid lateral meniscus

A discoid meniscus is an abnormally shaped meniscus (cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee) that is present in roughly 1% to 3% of people born in the United States (about the same rate in Singapore as well estimated).

The condition is the result of abnormal formation of the meniscus during development in the womb.

While some people may be unaware of their discoid meniscus and never experience symptoms related to it, they live at a higher risk of injury than those born with a normal meniscus. A discoid meniscus is commonly detected in childhood or adolescence, and often requires surgical intervention.

Our senior physiotherapists provide physiotherapy treatments

  • prior to and following surgery
  • for conditions not requiring surgery (conservative management)

What is Discoid Meniscus?

Our knees contain 2 cushions between our thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia), made of cartilage called meniscus. Normal meniscus is crescent-shaped and it's main role is to provide stability to the knee joint and absorb forces when we stand and move. Both menisci are attached to the shin bone (tibia) by the meniscofemoral ligament.

For this specific condition, discoid meniscus is present at birth.

It occurs when the cartilage does not properly develop, resulting in a thicker disc- or oval-shaped meniscus. The defect most often occurs in the meniscus on the outer (lateral) part of the knee joint.

Approximately 20% of individuals diagnosed with a discoid meniscus have it in both knees.

There are 3 types of discoid menisci. The classifications are:

  • Incomplete Discoid Meniscus. The shape of the meniscus is a bit wider and thicker than a normal meniscus.
  • Complete Discoid Meniscus. The shape of the meniscus is significantly wider than a normal meniscus, covering the shin bone (tibia).
  • Wrisberg-Ligament Meniscus. The normally present meniscofemoral ligament is absent.

Their abnormal shape and thickness make discoid menisci more prone to injury and tearing; the reason for this is because the meniscus tissue is often not capable of healing itself due to its limited blood supply, which is required for tissue healing.

Meniscal injuries most commonly occur in activities that require sudden stopping, pivoting, and "cutting," such as in sports. Pain may also be present, sometimes without a specific injury to, or a tear in, the discoid meniscus

In some cases, arthroscopic surgery may be required to reshape the abnormal meniscus to make it as normal as possible.

How Does Discoid Meniscus Feel like?

With a discoid meniscus or torn discoid meniscus, you may experience:

  • Pain in your knee, most often on the outer (lateral) side of the leg
  • Sharp pain with running, jumping, cutting, or deep squatting
  • Swelling in the knee
  • Tenderness on the outer side, or less commonly on the inner side, of the knee
  • Catching or locking of the knee while walking or squatting
  • Loss of knee motion, particularly getting "stuck," while fully bending or straightening the knee
  • Loss of strength in the quadriceps (thigh) muscle
  • Discomfort with daily activities, like walking up and down stairs

How Is It Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a discoid meniscus begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination.

Our senior physiotherapists will assess different measures of the knee area, such as

  • motion
  • strength
  • flexibility
  • tenderness
  • swelling

We will perform several tests specific to the knee joint, and may ask you to briefly demonstrate the activities or positions that cause your pain, such as

  • walking
  • squatting
  • stepping up or down stairs

If we suspects there may be an injury inside the knee joint, such as a discoid meniscus, we will likely recommend a referral to an orthopedic physician for diagnostic imaging, such as

  • ultrasound
  • x-ray
  • MRI

An MRI, which looks at bones, muscles, and cartilage, is the best imaging source to identify a discoid meniscus and a tear in the meniscus.

how our senior physiotherapists can help

When you have been diagnosed with a discoid meniscus, our senior physiotherapists will work with you to develop a plan to help achieve your specific goals. If surgery is needed, we will work with you after surgery.

To do so, we will select treatment strategies in any or all of the following areas:

Range of Motion

An injury or surgery to the knee joint causes the joint to be irritated, often resulting in swelling and knee joint stiffness, resulting in loss of normal motion. While it is important to regain your normal knee motion, it is also important to allow your injury to heal, without placing excessive stress on the healing joint.

We will assess your motion, design gentle exercises to help you regain normal range of motion, and establish a plan that will balance joint protection with motion restoration.

Strength Training

We will teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee, so that each muscle is able to properly perform its job, and stresses are eased, so the knee joint is properly protected.

Manual Therapy

Our senior physiotherapists are trained in manual (hands-on) therapy. If needed, we will gently move your knee cap (patella) or patellar tendon and surrounding muscles to improve their motion, flexibility, and strength. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own. 

Pain Management

Many pain-relief physiotherapy strategies may be implemented; the most beneficial with knee pain is to apply cold therapy to the area, and decrease or eliminate specific activities for a certain length of time. We will help to identify specific movements or activities that continue to aggravate your knee joint, and will design an individual treatment plan for you, beginning with a period of rest, and gradually adding a return to certain activities as appropriate.

Functional Training

We're experts at training athletes to function at their best. We will assess your movements, and teach you to adjust them to relieve any extra stress in your knee.

Back to Top

book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

Phoenix Rehab Physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to

  1. manage and decrease hand pains
  2. improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
  3. increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.


  • Cupping TCM
  • Auricular Therapy TCM
  • Herbal TCM Medicine & Supplementation


Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and  shorten downtime / recovery period required.

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.

Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

do Tell Your Family, Friends And Colleagues About Us =)

We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the # 1 way we grow as a clinic / brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We prefer not to rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

Recent Articles

  1. Adele Ang Principal Physiotherapist Singapore

    Jun 29, 22 08:32 AM

    Adele is a registered physiotherapist with over 25 years of experience including treating national athletes as well as recreational athletes having worked in Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Spo…

    Read More

  2. Achilles Tendon Pain Physiotherapy

    Feb 03, 22 04:05 AM

    Achilles tendon pain is very common among recreational and elite sportspeople. But it is also common among sedentary individuals

    Read More

  3. Tendonitis Physiotherapy & Hand Therapy

    Feb 03, 22 12:16 AM

    Tendonitis, tendinopathy and tendinosis are all tendon injuries and treated by physiotherapists and hand therapists

    Read More

  4. Cervical Spondylosis Physiotherapy

    Jan 11, 22 02:01 AM

    Cervical spondylosis is a general term to describe the degenerative condition in the neck which results in pain and other symptoms

    Read More

  5. Tendon Pain Tendinopathy Physiotherapy

    Jan 07, 22 12:28 AM

    Tendinopathy (tendon injuries) can develop in any tendon of the body and has many names such as tendinitis and it can be treated with good tendon physiotherapy

    Read More

  6. The importance of staging and compression in tendinopathy physio

    Dec 15, 21 01:47 AM

    Tendon problems are common in runners and can become a persistent issue if not properly treated.

    Read More

  7. Tendon Pain Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy

    Dec 14, 21 11:23 PM

    Pain and pathology in a tendon, known as tendinopathy, is a common injury in athletes that can be difficult to manage. Physio and hand therapy can help healing

    Read More

  8. Tendon Injuries Physiotherapy, Hand Therapy, TCM & Massage

    Dec 07, 21 01:31 AM

    We use the world’s best tendon recovery programs through cutting edge treatment techniques for all tendon injuries (and tendon injuries differ accordingly)

    Read More

  9. Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy at Tampines Singapore

    Nov 28, 21 12:08 AM

    Phoenix Rehab Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy at Tampines Singapore

    Read More

  10. Mallet Finger Tendon Injury Rupture Hand Therapy

    Nov 17, 21 12:30 AM

    Mallet finger is an injury to the thin tendon that straightens the end joint of a finger or thumb.

    Read More