Knee meniscal tears – think twice before surgery

  • Meniscus is cartilage in the knee that acts as a shock absorber and helps stabilize the knee joint. Meniscal tears are one of the most common knee injuries, and surgery is often performed to reduce pain and improve joint function.
  • In a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting (December 2014), scientists used MRI scans to look at 355 knees with arthritis, and compared them to a similar number of knees without arthritis. The average age of the patients was about 60 and most were overweight.
  • All 31 knees that were operated on to repair meniscal tears developed arthritis within a year, compared with 59 percent of knees with meniscal damage that did not have surgery.
  • Cartilage loss occurred in nearly 81 percent of knees that had meniscal surgery, compared with almost 40 percent of knees with meniscal damage that did not have surgery, the study found.
  • Surgery to repair meniscal tears is common, but this type of knee surgery is detrimental to the knee joint and increases the chances of arthritis.
  • An alternative to surgery is Laser Therapy and gentle exercise to help maintain and restore knee muscle strength and range of motion. Giving patients the right nutritional information is also helpful to treat pain and symptoms.

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