T Nation

Full Squats for Meniscus Tear?


I was ust reading the mini article on full ROM squats over in the Author's locker room and it got me wondering about my knee. I was diagnosed with a torn meniscus on my right knee (it's on lateral side on outter rim), which makes me wonder if I should do full ROM squats. I haven't had my knee operated on, and don't intend to b/c it doesn't really bother me (except for couple months post injury).

Since then I have been squatting, both full range and parallel, but am wondering if I should be going down that far with a torn meniscus. My ortho doc doesn't believe in squating deep at all even with normal knees, so he is obviously against it, but I would like opinions from others.


Wow, im pretty much in the same exact situation as you on all accounts(same tear, same location, havent had operation, etc) except the continuos squatting. I havent been squatting, just DL'ing. My ortho doc doesnt believe in squats either....heh


This reply is just based on my own experience - I'm 42 years old and have been diagnosed with slight meniscus tears in both knees. I've gone through rehab twice on one knee and once on the other. This was a result of 25 years of basketball on the street. I started doing squats to parallel as as result of the rehab and eventually built up to a 325 lb. squat. My knees always felt "creaky" and often popped.

I gave up basketball one year ago and started olympic lifting. This included ATG squats and gradually getting used to the bottom position in the O lifts. I've noticed that my knees don't pop anymore and they feel much better since squatting below parallel. I've had experienced lifters explain to me that this style puts less stress on the knee because the hamstrings and glutes take over once you get below parallel.

I'll never know how much of this is due to quitting basketball and how much is due to squatting deep, but I do wish I had learned to squat deep years ago.

  Had the same thing happen to me but in a bigger way, rehabed it carefully, dr's wanted to operate but no way was I going to let them.

  Slowly got back to goodmornings and walking, different stride lengths and generally working at it from a wide range of angles with a wide range of exercises and activities.

  Stoped squatting for about 2 months then slowly got back to it, just going to a depth point that was comfortable and then progressing from there

  I am now back to full squats, ass to grass and it feels 110%, give it time and develop your patience and try not to let them operate unless it is really needed, all the best.


Guys i am 25, i have had a discode miniscus (sp), basically an oversized miniscus that has led to tears in my right, 1999 (football) and my left in 2001 (rugby). I had both scoped at the time of injury and did rehab both at a Health south facillity in Westminster MD, and in Bethesda MD. Currently i will squat anything in the 8-15 range below par. and anything in the 1-6 range to par. and i have had no pain or decrease in strength at all, and i have been doing this since my initial scope in Dec. 99 and i feel that the only reason i won't squat really low on big lifts is some wierd mental issue that i have been getting over.

Just rehab your knees and go at it. But again i'm not a doctor, i only play one on the internet.


My experience has been that you will have more knee problems with partials than fulls or parallels.

Partials tend to put more stress on the ACL. It almost seems contradictory but going deeper puts less shear force on the ligament.


just an opinion, but I think that partials give you a false sense of security, so you use too much weight and end up paying for it.


I had a meniscus tear last summer on the lateral rim of my left leg, and the only thing that did bother it was squatting deep, below parallel. It would click every time.

I'd be careful and talk to your ortho about it. While it may not bother you that doesn't mean you're not making the tear worse. I deadlifted with mine for several months and just shredded that part of the meniscus my ortho said.

Also, if you don't agree with your ortho you might look for one that is sports oriented. I know that can be hard, but it might get you what you want.

take care


Thanks for the replys. This happened last summer, and things have been fine since the fall, so I think i'll continue doing what i'm doing and do both types since no one has any real horror stories or regrets. I don't feel any grinding on it when I go down that far, so I think it should be fine.

As far as seeing another doc that might be difficult. I had to see like 4 different GPs before I could even get a referral to an ortho b/c none of them thought I had a torn meniscus. Even the ortho didn't think I had one until I asked for an MRI.


doc oesnt know what hes saying,I've torn my right meniscus 4 times since 2004 and havent gotten the micro surgery yet,I took 1 month from training legs then starting doing them again,I always go parallel...if I go ATG I wont get up,Ill just sit there and enjoy the view.

I kinda wanna know why yall wont let them operate on you,pm me and tell me why if you dont mind,Im planning on gettin it done in august,they said it wouldnt take more then a month or two to heal


I am a 30 year old male with a significant lateral meniscus tear in my right knee plus patellar tendonitis (the tear happened in the summer of 2005 during a game of tennis). My ortho said I didn't need surgery as the tear was not interfering with knee movement. But he did say I can go back to doing full squats but only with high reps (such as 20 or so). He advised that I not use heavy weight. I have discomfort when climbing stairs but not when walking. I haven't squatted a lot since as I feel discomfort outside my right knee when going below parallel. However, deadlifting makes the knee feel completely normal for several days after. For the most part, I am sticking to Rack Pulls, Goodmornings, bodyweight Squats, Pushups and other assorted movements such as Military Presses. I have found that bicycling on paved roads allows me to keep my quads strong (tried mountain biking briefly a couple of weeks ago and my right knee swelled up right away). I would suggest bicycling as often as you want to strengthen the quads.