Meniscus tear injuries are some of the most common knee injuries to occur, especially among athletes of all levels. The injury requires prompt medical attention. Without it, the knee joint may progressively deteriorate and, certainly, the knee will experience pain and stiffness. Here, we want to discuss the issue of meniscus tears and propose whether surgery is always the necessary solution.
Understanding Meniscus Tears
Three bones make up the knee joint: the shinbone, the thighbone, and the kneecap. To stabilize the point at which these bones meet, there are tough pieces of cartilage, the meniscus. These pieces of cartilage also prevent the bones from rubbing against each other.
Meniscus tears can happen in two ways. Most commonly, injury happens during physical activity. Playing sports, a player may get tackled or may twist the knee aggressively. Another way the meniscus may tear is simple degeneration. Constant use over the years can cause the cartilage to weaken. This type of wear-and-tear can make the meniscus susceptible to injury just by bending down to pick something up.
Diagnosing the Meniscus Tear
Doctors begin to formulate their diagnosis during a discussion with the patient. Many people report hearing or feeling a “pop” when their injury occurred. Symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and instability will likely progress until treatment is administered. After conducting a thorough consultation, our providers perform a physical examination of the knee to assess the range of motion and joint stability. A definitive diagnosis may be confirmed with an MRI.
Is There a Nonsurgical Treatment for Meniscus Tears?
The OrthoHealing Center has been established as a destination for cutting edge minimally invasive orthopedics. In our Los Angeles facility, we offer a variety of nonsurgical treatments for meniscus tears. Studies have indicated that small meniscus tears can resolve on their own when provided with sufficient rest. More substantial tears may respond well to customized physical therapy and minimally invasive injections. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is an example.
We routinely treat meniscus tears using platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow stem cell therapy. These modalities stimulate tissue repair by inserting the body’s own stem cells and platelets into the injured area. Our extensive study of PRP and stem cell therapy affords us the knowledge to understand exactly how these substances work and how well specific formulations work on different injuries, including meniscus tears.
If you suspect you have a meniscus tear and would like to explore nonsurgical treatment options like PRP and stem cell therapy, schedule a visit to our Los Angeles office. Call (310) 896-4117.