Date of Award


Document Type



Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Steven Halcrow


Knee pain, osteoarthritis, meniscus involvement, Physical Therapy


Introduction: Cartilage tears and osteoarthritis are upon the most common sources of knee pain. The peak incidence for degenerative meniscal tears in women are from ages 61-70. The meniscus acts as a cushion within the knee and if this becomes damaged or degenerates over time, osteoarthritis is likely to become a factor as well. The purpose of this study is to find whether or not physical therapy is an appropriate treatment option for a patient with knee pain with indications of osteoarthritis and a meniscal involvement.

Case Description: The patient is an 82 year old female who came to physical therapy for an evaluation and treatment of right knee pain. The patient had seen her doctor prior to coming to physical therapy and had already received a radiograph. After the SPT and PT completed different tests and measures, the patient was treated for knee pain due to osteoarthritis with a possible meniscal injury.

Intervention: The patient was seen two days a week for a total of six visits. Interventions consisted of manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and gait training. All interventions aimed to improve functional mobility, range of motion, and strength within the right lower extremity.

Outcomes: The patient had shown improvement with right knee range of motion and strength throughout the course of treatment. Her pain had significantly decreased as well improving her overall quality of life. The patient was able to return to her activities she was completing prior to this.

Discussion: Based off the results of this case study on a female patient who had knee pain with osteoarthritis as well as meniscal involvement, it is determined that physical therapy intervention can help improve symptoms and reduce pain. A mixture of manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and gait training were found to be effective in improving the patient’s functional status. More research is needed on other interventions such as blood flow restriction as it would likely be of benefit in this case. Current research also supports physical therapy intervention for those with knee pain due to osteoarthritis or degenerative meniscal tears/involvement.