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The evolution of treatment of meniscal tears.

Meniscal tears occur when there is a tear of the fibrocartilage strips in the knee. Meniscus tears in the knee are pretty common. They can be torn during innocuous activities including walking and or squatting. When I was a new grad, surgeons would remove the entire meniscus if you had a tear. We now know how important the meniscus is in combating joint forces and shock absorption in the knee. That would be like removing your suspension in your car. This early concept of removing the entire meniscus has now proven to be detrimental and can be the cause of significant arthritis.

Recent research has shown that many patients do well with nonoperative rehab. Even a partial meniscectomy has not been proven to be more effective than rehab. But not every meniscus tear is the same. The answer is in the vascularity which is predominately on the exterior of the meniscus. The outer perimeter has a decent blood supply and the transitional mid zone does as well. A tear in either of these zones has potential to heal. The problem is in the inner zone which is avascular and has very little potential to heal on its own.

If you feel that you may have torn your meniscus give us a call and we can determine your next steps.

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