Will my knee get worse after meniscus surgery
Many people fear having surgery for a torn meniscus because their knee will become more painful and damanged. Let’s talk about this common misconception and learn more.
More on meniscus tears
Can you repair or regrow a meniscus ?
Dr. Hacker performs first meniscus replacement in San Diego
Surgery for a torn meniscus is usually a simple 15-20 minute outpatient procedure that is done through very small incisions and done as an outpatient. A ‘camera on a stick’ is used to look inside the knee and small tools are able to help trim away or sew back together the torn tissue. Trimming away a torn meniscus removes the cause of pain. My patients start rehabilitating the next day.
Live with it or have surgery
When you have a tear, you have two options: Live with it or have surgery. For a tear that interferes with things you like to do, you may actually be causing more damage by leaving it alone. Having unstable meniscal tissue in the joint may cause further damage to the joint surfaces. Think of these surfaces like the tread on a car tire. (Read more about the tire analogy here) You want to keep it thick and healthy. A damaged meniscus rubbing against it can cause it to break down causing further pain down the road.
Medications like ibuprofen can reduce the inflammation caused by the tear, but they do not help or treat the tear directly. The meniscus often does not heal because it does not have a good blood supply to nourish it. There are no signals to your body to heal it, and as a result, it can remain torn for years if left untreated.
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Rather than allowing the damaged meniscus to cause wear to the surrounding tissues, the surgical procedure trims the tear away and it can no longer create more problems in the knee. In fact, having surgery for a meniscus tear may prevent or slow the process of further knee wear and tear.
If your knee is painful with activities you enjoy, or if you have swelling in your knee after being active consider talking to me or your orthopedic surgeon about having it treated.
Meniscus replacement surgery
Meniscus replacement surgery is coming soon. It’s in the clinical trial stage now. It will be a few years before it may be available to everyone. Remember, this is for someone who has already had meniscus surgery. Not someone with a tear. You are still better off having a procedure for a meniscus tear than having a meniscus replacement.
While this is a general guideline, each of us is a little different and the right treatment for you must be carefully thought out with your surgeon.
I hope this helps explain this. Please ask me questions below ! Remember I cannot give specific patient advice online.
Thank you for this article.
I just read an article saying that trimming damaged meniscus will only lead to more pain, future. I have y
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