Non-Surgical Meniscus Tear Treatment & Alternatives to Meniscus Surgery

Each knee has two menisci, which are the circular discs responsible for cushioning the knee and distributing weight throughout this joint. An abrupt turn or twist of the knee can result in a painful meniscus tear. This type of injury can happen during participation in sports or when lifting a heavy object. With age, the meniscus often wears down, which makes it easier to have a meniscus tear. Stem cell treatment and platelet-rich plasma injections are two recently developed alternatives to meniscus surgery that can use a patient's own cells for innovative and effective healing.

About Meniscus Tears

Patients may suffer meniscus tears of varying degrees. A minor tear usually results in slight pain and swelling, resolving itself within about three weeks. A moderate tear causes stiffness and swelling, which may interfere with walking and range of motion. These symptoms may last for a week or two, and they may return with overuse. A severe tear may result in pieces of the meniscus moving within the joint, causing it to lock. Swelling and stiffness usually follow within the first days after injury, and pain can be significant after this type of meniscus tear. Stem cell treatment is an increasingly popular option for non-surgical treatment that can help repair a meniscus tear.

Surgical Limitations

More than one million meniscus repair surgeries are performed in the United States annually, and nearly 30 percent of these surgeries may require additional operations to resolve continued problems. Surgery for a meniscus tear often fails for various reasons. The location of the tear is one factor in failed surgeries. If the tear occurs on the interior of the knee, the injury site may not receive an adequate blood supply for full healing. One complication of this lack of blood supply can be arthritis, which could set in with aging. Instead of the surgical route, it's a good idea to explore alternative treatment for torn meniscus patients.

Alternative Treatments

One non-surgical treatment options that has been helpful for many patients with a meniscus tear is PRP injection. Meniscus tear repair often responds readily to the presence of platelet-rich plasma injected at the injury site. Blood platelets contain growth factors, which are beneficial for the healing process. Incorporating a patient's own platelet-rich plasma helps intensify the healing process and often stimulates and strengthens the body's natural response to an injury. We also offer stem cell treatment, which uses your body's own stem cells to help repair damaged tissues.

At Kinetic Sports Medicine, we regularly see patients with these types of injuries, with many of them wondering how to repair a meniscus without surgery. Patients of all ages can be excellent candidates for stem cell therapy or PRP injection: Meniscus tear injuries do not automatically require surgery.

Dr. Richard Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician, and his focus is on finding the best non-operative treatment solutions to resolve patients' pain and injuries. If you'd like to learn more about our services to see whether stem cell or platelet-rich plasma injection is a treatment option for you, we invite you to contact us to schedule an appointment. When it's time to reclaim your life and resume your previous activity level, Dr. Kim and the Kinetic Sports Medicine team are ready to help you become healthy and active once again. Make an appointment to explore alternative treatment for torn meniscus patients and get healthy without surgery.