Torn Meniscus - Surgery To Repair

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Can a meniscus tear heal without surgery?

If the tear is small and located on the outer edge of the meniscus, it is possible that rehabilitation without surgery is all that is needed for recovery. The location of the meniscal injury is also an important consideration. Injuries that occur in parts of the cartilage that have better blood supply have a better chance to heal than those where there is little blood supply.

With other meniscal injuries, if the knee is stable and if the symptoms do not persist and do not limit lifestyle, nonsurgical treatments remain an option. However, the decision to defer surgery depends upon whether the knee joint remains functional and allows the patient to participate in their preferred activities.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Annie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

I had a torn meniscus from working out (I lost about 75 pounds ten years ago) but in the process I tore my meniscus. I put surgery off for about five years but finally gave in when the steroid injections stopped working and the doctor said I couldn't have any more. I had the surgery seven weeks ago and I developed a large egg size lump above my knee. It is quite painful at night time, along with my entire thigh. It wakes me up every night. It's not too bad in the daytime when I'm walking but I dread going to sleep at night. The physical therapist believes I have something called IT (iliotibial) band syndrome. I have more pain now than I ever did before the surgery. I go to the surgeon tomorrow since I can't stand it anymore.

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Comment from: Brian, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 15

My left knee was snapping and swelling up when used moderately. The surgeon interpreted the MRI as a moderate tear. He removed 40 percent of medial and 10 to 15 percent of lateral meniscus and cleaned up the bearing surface of patella. The first week post-surgery I was concerned there was little progress in motion and pain. Nine or ten days post-surgery there was a marked improvement. Now 5 weeks and 3 days post-surgery, swelling is almost gone and I did a little 15 yard jog, 5 times, no bad pain. It still hurts, 3 on 10, intermittently along the inside of my patella. Time will tell if all the pain goes away.

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