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Did You Know that Multiple Studies Show that Meniscus Surgery Doesn’t Work?
Numerous studies show meniscus surgery is no better than sham or placebo surgery. Surgery should be your absolute last option.
Regenexx Alternative to Meniscus Surgery
Your Alternative to Meniscus Surgery
Back in 2005, we became the first physicians on earth to inject and then publish the results of injecting the patient’s own healing stem cells and platelets into the meniscus. If you’re considering surgery to treat an orthopedic condition, make sure you understand all of your options. Let our doctors determine if you are a candidate for regenerative medicine, your alternative to meniscus surgery.
For several decades in orthopedic care, the traditional solution to meniscus tears has been to identify them on an MRI and cut out the offending piece. At Centeno-Schultz Clinic, Meniscus Tears are one of the most common injuries we treat. The last option anyone should consider for a Meniscus Injury is the surgical removal of all or some of this important structure. Research shows meniscus surgery accelerates arthritis and may lead to an astounding number of knee replacement surgeries because of the wear and tear. Download our free Patient Guide to learn more.
Meniscus Surgery Should Be Your Last Resort. Why?
Partial knee meniscectomy is a very common surgery that involves removing the torn part of the meniscus, which is a natural shock absorber for the knee. In fact, in America alone, we perform about 700,000 of these surgeries per year, making it one of the most common orthopedic surgeries. While most patients think they’re getting a meniscus repair procedure, in fact, 96% of these surgeries just whack out a piece of the shock absorber, leaving your knee less and not more protected.
What Your Orthopedist Won’t Tell You…
If you’re 35 or over, meniscus tears as are as common and about as important as wrinkles. This means that the idea that you hurt your knee and then an MRI shows a meniscus tear and that meniscus tear is causing your pain is no better than chance. This is because many patients over 35 are walking around with meniscus tears and have no pain. Hence, your first job after being told you have a meniscus tear on MRI is deciding whether it’s causing pain!
Your family physician will probably only provide two options: conservative measures to see if the meniscus heals on its own and, if it doesn’t, meniscus surgery. However, you actually have a third option to consider, and that is the interventional orthopedics approach to meniscus tears.
More than 90% of the time meniscus surgery does not actually “repair” the meniscus, but rather removes the torn pieces. Given its shock absorbing function, less shock absorber means more shock gets delivered to the cartilage and bone. After a while, this living tissue reacts, and cartilage is lost, and the knee begins to form new bone spurs. Multiple studies have calculated increased force versus the amount of meniscus removed and its profound negative consequences to the long-term function and stability of the knee. In addition, papers have confirmed that removing parts of the meniscus results in knee arthritis.
Most remarkably, recent research has shown that meniscus surgery, on average, is no more effective than a sham surgery or physical therapy in its positive effects, however physical therapy has no negative impact. Despite this, almost a million meniscectomies are still performed every year.
What Is the Better Option? Avoid Surgery with Interventional Orthopedics.
If meniscus surgery shouldn’t be your first option, what is the alternative? Orthopedic surgery isn’t the only team on the field; much like interventional cardiology has gained a foothold over cardiac surgery over the past few decades, interventional orthopedics is providing nonsurgical alternatives to many orthopedic surgeries available today. And meniscus repair is one of those.
If the meniscus tear or injury doesn’t heal on its own, with the advancing field of interventional orthopedics now available, surgery shouldn’t be the first choice. It is very common to have meniscus tears appear on MRI, especially as we age, but oftentimes these tears are not actually the source of the patient’s knee pain. In the majority of cases, Interventional Orthopedic treatments, is a better option all-around.
Regenexx Stem Cell and Platelet Rich Plasma procedures are breakthrough, non-surgical regenerative treatments for people suffering from knee pain due to a Meniscus tear, or other knee pain resulting from common orthopedic conditions. Our regenerative treatments for meniscus tears offer patients a minimally invasive same-day injection procedure that may help heal the injured tissue and allow the individual to avoid the painful and lengthy recovery that typically follows surgery, as well as the long-term impact to the knee as a result of removing sections of meniscus.
Types of Meniscus Tears We Treat
The Meniscus is the most commonly injured part of the knee. In young people a meniscus tear is usually caused by a traumatic twisting injury. In older people, in addition to traumatic injury, tears are often caused by weakness of the meniscus caused by degenerative changes in the knee joint.
Medial Meniscus Tear
A tear on medial meniscus often caused traumatically by sudden changes of direction and force in sports like football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and skiing. They can also be caused by repetitive use injuries like distance running and cycling and degenerative changes to the knee in older patients. Medial Meniscus Tears respond very well to our treatments.
Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear
The entire inner rim of the medial meniscus can be torn in what is called a bucket handle tear. These tears usually occur in an area of good blood supply in the meniscus. While these tears when caught very early are the one case that can be sutured, our injections can accomplish the same thing without the risks and recovery time of surgery.
Complex Degenerative Meniscus Tear
Just like other tissues of the body, the tissue that forms the menisci weakens with age, making the menisci prone to degeneration and tearing with just minor injury or no particular injury at all. These tears of the meniscus are usually seen as a part of the overall condition of osteoarthritis of the knees in older adults and cause the menisci to fray and tear in multiple directions. Thankfully, in these cases, there are so many tears, most surgeons won’t even try to repair them surgically.
Meniscus Flap Tear
The meniscus can also have a flap tear from the inner rim. These tears usually involve a small percentage of the meniscus and do not have the ability to heal on their own because they occur in an area that does not have good blood supply. Flap tears are the type most commonly “trimmed” or “shaved”, (removed) leading to long term issues. BEWARE of any removal of meniscus tissue. Instead use our treatments to heal the tear.