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Meniscus Tears – Research suggests the ‘White Zone’ can heal (Los Angeles Chiropractor)

 

  • FACT: Regeneration of meniscus and cartilage is difficult to heal especially in the ‘white zone’ where there is a lack of blood vessels and therefore deprives the meniscus of healing nutrients and oxygen.
  • FACT: Stem cell injections and PRP injection treatments are in the infancy stages of research. These treatment options are as controversial as surgery.
    • New York Times, Dr. Gordon H. Guyatt, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario states: Meniscus surgery is expensive and has potential complications (British Medical Journal even agrees with this).
    • FACT: I want patients to return to sport or leisure activity as fast as possible.
    • Researchers in Denmark have published: “patients undergoing arthroscopic meniscus surgery were too optimistic regarding their recovery time and postoperative participation in leisure activities. This highlights the need for shared decision making which should include giving the patient information on realistic expectations of recovery time and regarding participation in leisure-time activities after meniscal surgery.”1
  • Can PIEZOWAVE Pulse Therapy and ENPULS Radial Shockwave Therapy regrow meniscus tissue? What about stem cell therapy and PRP? Is one more successful at treating meniscal damage? All of these treatments are very promising! I have not seen 80-100% predictable positive clinical outcomes yet with any of these! So far I see stimulation of stem cells (either non-invasive therapy or injections) as promising for meniscus repair and regeneration.4
  • We need more University and Hospital based studies to confirm this trend.
  • Again, everyone agrees that Meniscus injuries remain a significant challenge due to the poor healing potential of the inner avascular zone (the inner portion of the meniscus that lacks a blood supply).
  • I use the non-invasive and less expensive EnPuls and PiezoWave therapy instead of PRP to achieve pain relief and attempt to halt the progression of meniscal damage. More time and research is required to see if this is the way to regenerate tissue.5
  1. Pihl K, Roos EM, Nissen N, JøRgensen U, Schjerning J, Thorlund JB. Over-optimistic patient expectations of recovery and leisure activities after arthroscopic meniscus surgery. Acta Orthop. 2016 Sep 13:1-7.
  2. Brelin AM, Rue JP. Return to Play Following Meniscus Surgery. Clin Sports Med. 2016 Oct;35(4):669-78. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 Jul 9. Review.
  3. Noyes FR, Barber-Westin SD. Long-term Survivorship and Function of Meniscus Transplantation. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Sep;44(9):2330-8.
  4. Niu W, Guo W, Han S, Zhu Y, Liu S, Guo Q. Cell-Based Strategies for Meniscus Tissue Engineering. Stem Cells International. 2016;2016:4717184. doi:10.1155/2016/4717184.
  5. Blanke F, Vavken P, Haenle M, von Wehren L, Pagenstert G, Majewski M. Percutaneous injections of Platelet rich plasma for treatment of intrasubstance meniscal lesions. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2015 Oct 20;5(3):162-166.

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