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Nip and Tuck of Meniscus: Advancing The Degenerative Cascade

| | Knee, Meniscus

The knee meniscus is tough fibrocartilage that is positioned between the thigh(femur) and shin bone(tibia).

knee meniscus

Each knee has two menisci:   lateral and medial.  They are C-shaped.

They function as a shock absorber protecting the delicate cartilage in your knee.

Arthroscopic view of knee
Arthroscopic view of the knee

Injury can result in a meniscal tear.  There are several different types:  horizontal, radial, oblique, and longitudinal.

Surgery is often recommended despite the fact that 60% of meniscal tears are not associated with pain.

Meniscectomy is where a portion of the “damaged” meniscus is surgically removed.  While the “damaged” area is removed often patients fail to obtain significant pain relief.  Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that meniscectomies increase the rate of cartilage loss in the joint.  This makes sense since by removing a portion of the shock absorber, the forces of daily living are transmitted to the delicate cartilage.  The cartilage was not intended to bear this increased stress and therefore starts to degenerate.

The use of your own stem cells is now an option for patients with meniscus tears and degenerative changes in the knee joint.

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