Meniscal Tears

Laser Ther. 2014 Dec 27;23(4):273-7. doi: 10.5978/islsm.14-OR-21.

Low Level Laser Therapy for chronic knee joint pain patients.

Nakamura T1, Ebihara S2, Ohkuni I2, Izukura H2, Harada T2, Ushigome N2, Ohshiro T3, Musha Y4, Takahashi H1, Tsuchiya K1, Kubota A1.

Author information

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Toho University School of Medicine.
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Toho University School of Medicine.
  • 3Japan Medical Laser Laboratory.
  • 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ohashi Hospital, Toho University School of Medicine.



Chronic knee joint pain is one of the most frequent complaints which is seen in the outpatient clinic in our medical institute. In previous studies we have reported the benefits of low level laser therapy (LLLT) for chronic pain in the shoulder joints, elbow, hand, finger and the lower back. The present study is a report on the effects of LLLT for chronic knee joint pain.


Over the past 5 years, 35 subjects visited the outpatient clinic with complaints of chronic knee joint pain caused by the knee osteoarthritis-induced degenerative meniscal tear. They received low level laser therapy. A 1000 mW semi-conductor laser device was used to deliver 20.1 J/cm(2) per point in continuous wave at 830nm, and four points were irradiated per session (1 treatment) twice a week for 4 weeks.


A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to determine the effects of LLLT for the chronic pain and after the end of the treatment regimen a significant improvement was observed (p<0.001). After treatment, no significant differences were observed in the knee joint range of motion. Discussions with the patients revealed that it was important for them to learn how to avoid postures that would cause them knee pain in everyday life in order to have continuous benefits from the treatment.


The present study demonstrated that 830 nm LLLT was an effective form of treatment for chronic knee pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. Patients were advised to undertake training involving gentle flexion and extension of the knee.

Lasers Med Sci.  2012 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Low-level laser therapy in meniscal pathology: a double-blinded placebo-controlled trial.

Malliaropoulos N, Kiritsi O, Tsitas K, Christodoulou D, Akritidou A, Del Buono A, Maffulli N.


National Track & Field Centre, Sports Injury Clinic, Sports Medicine Clinic of S.E.G.A.S., Thessaloniki, Greece,


We performed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study (ISRCTN24203769) to assess the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in patients with meniscal pathology, including only symptomatic patients with tiny focus of grade 3 attenuation (seen only on 0.7 thickness sequences) or intrasubstance tears with spot of grade 3 signal intensity approaching the articular surface. None of the patients in the study group underwent arthroscopy or new magnetic resonance imaging investigation. Paired-samples t test was used to detect significant changes in subjective knee pain over the experimental period within groups, and ANOVA was used to detect any significant differences between the two groups. Pain was significantly improved for the LLLT group than for the placebo group (F=154, p<0.0001). Pain scores were significantly better after LLLT. Four (12.5 %) patients did not respond to LLLT. At baseline, the average Lysholm score was 77±4.6 for the LLLT group and 77.2±2.6 for the placebo group (p>0.05). Four weeks after LLLT or placebo therapy, the laser group reported an average Lysholm score of 82.5±4.6, and the placebo group scored 79.0±1.9. At 6 months, the laser group had an average Lysholm score of 82.2±5.7, and after 1 year, they scored 81.6±6.6 (F=14.82923, p=0.002). Treatment with LLLT was associated with a significant decrease of symptoms compared to the placebo group: it should be considered in patients with meniscal tears who do not wish to undergo surgery.