Can You Play Golf with a Torn Meniscus | A PT Explains

Written By on February 6, 2021 — Medically Reviewed By Kristopher Ceniza

Written by on — Medically Reviewed By: Kristopher Cenzia

A torn meniscus is actually one of the more common knee injuries that are seen in many active people at any stage of life.

This is also true in a relatively low-impact sport such as golf.

In this article we will look at some key elements of a meniscus tear which will include;

  • How are meniscus tears treated?
  • What will happen if a meniscus tear remains untreated
  • The main golf-related knee injuries
  • Will a meniscus tear heal by itself?
  • What are the most common golf-related injuries?

Treatments for Meniscus Tears

There are a few aspects that will determine the best course of treatment.

It will depend on the location, degree, and type of tear that you are experiencing.

Your age and activity level may also impact your treatment options.

There are non-surgical options available, these include;

  • Physical therapy
  • The RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

These will work in many cases, but it is important to be assessed by a doctor to determine the best treatment for you.

More severe tears may require surgery to heal properly. The surgery will aim to preserve the meniscus by repairing the tear or removing the torn part of the meniscus.

Meniscus tear surgery is typically completed by arthroscopy, where a small camera is inserted into a tiny incision in the knee to guide the surgeon as they attempt to repair or remove the tear.

To do this the surgeon will use small instruments within the tiny incision.

Post-surgery you may need some physical therapy to strengthen the knee. It will also help you to regain your range of motion and get back into your usual activities.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make a torn meniscus worse?

You will certainly be aware of a torn meniscus. You will feel pain, but in most cases, you will still be able to walk.
Swelling can occur in the area and it may even get worse over time if not treated. It can also result in a stiff knee.

The pain may be more severe with twisting or squatting motions. If the knee is locked then you may not be able to move it.

But in most cases you can use the knee as usual, being able to walk, sit, stand, and sleep with little pain.

There are some serious issues that can occur if a meniscus injury is not treated.

If the tear has occurred in the outer one-third of the meniscus then it may heal on its own. This area has a rich blood supply which will promote healing.

Untreated meniscus tears can limit your mobility and daily activities. It can also lead to more serious conditions down the track, including arthritis.

It can even pull parts of the cartilage into the knee joint which will most certainly require surgery to repair.

Can you hurt your knee playing golf?

Knee problems may not be the most common injuries for people who play golf, they represent only 10% of all golf-related injuries.

Lower back injuries remain at the top of the list when it comes to golfing injuries.

Although they are not as common, you can obtain a knee injury from golf and they are treatable as long as you know what you are dealing with.

There are three main types of knee injuries that can occur in golfers.

You are at risk of aggravating an existing knee condition while playing golf. this can occur from the strain that you place on already weak or injured knees.
This can cause knee pain or reinjure your joint. This strain is caused by the action of stabilizing the rotation of the hip axis at the beginning of your swing.

Also, if you suffer from conditions such as arthritis then you may experience more knee pain while playing golf. This is due to your pre-existing joint condition.

Other actions that can aggravate your knee conditions or contribute to an injury include bending or squatting to retrieve balls.

A lot of walking will certainly put extra stress on your weight-bearing knee joint.

Golfing may also cause injury to the soft tissue. The extreme force that is placed on the knee joint can result in torn ligaments, torn cartilage, and other soft tissue damage.

Twisting motions of the knee joint while bearing weight on it during a swing can injure the intricate soft tissues which will result in pain.

Finally, the third type of knee injury during golf is an overuse injury. Many of the golf injuries that occur in the knee joint are the result of overuse combined with poor swing mechanics.

This is why it is so important to perfect your swing and ensure that you are doing everything possible to play a good game while also protecting these delicate joints.
Good body mechanics and a significant warm-up is a great way to avoid pain and injury.

Can a meniscus tear heal by itself?

When you get a meniscus tear many people believe that it can heal over time on its own.

The fact of the matter is that there are different kinds of meniscus tears. Some types of meniscus tears cannot heal without significant intervention.

Some tears do not heal without treatment. The main treatment for meniscus tears is surgery.

If the meniscus tear is in the outer 1/3 of the meniscus then it may heal on its own or may require surgery.
It is best to consult with your doctor when seeking treatment.

They will be able to pinpoint the type of meniscus tear and what is the best treatment to get you back on your feet sooner.

Related: Ways To Recover From A Torn Meniscus Naturally

What is the most common injury in golf?

Even though golf is a relatively low-impact sport it is still associated with a significant number of injuries in various parts of the body.

The majority of these injuries are a result of poor mechanics or overuse.

The most common golf-related injuries occur in the lower back, closely followed by the elbow, wrist and hand, and shoulder.

Mich Torres (PT)
Mitch is a physical therapist, personal trainer, and nutrition coach. Fascinated with the knee joint, Mitch poured that passion into writing about knee pain and how to overcome it with movement. His goal is to teach you how to apply this knowledge into your daily life, so you can keep knee pain away for good.