A torn meniscus is a common knee injury that’s usually caused by the forceful twisting or the hyper-flexing of the knee. Symptoms include swelling, knee pain, and limited motion.
There are a variety of treatment options for a torn meniscus. To help you get a better overview of each, we’ve evaluated them here.
Physical therapy is a non-surgical option that can be used to treat small tears. There are several exercises that a physical therapist can advise; the most important thing to remember is that maintaining proper form is vital for recovery.
Meniscal tears generally require about eight weeks to heal completely if the injury is located within the red zone. The red zone is the blood-rich portion of your meniscus—it can heal on its own with just physical therapy because blood can supply growth factors to the area. For best results, it’s employed in combination with rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
During meniscal repair surgery, the doctor will suture the tear together and allow it to heal naturally. Only ten percent of menisci can be treated this way—horizontal, deep-rooted, and degenerative tears cannot be repaired with this technique.
The recovery time after the surgery is generally two weeks and requires frequent physical therapy to ensure normal functioning.
Most tears are treated using a partial meniscectomy, where the damaged part of the meniscus is removed. The goal is to leave as much healthy meniscal tissue intact as possible.
Most patients can resume regular activities after a week of surgery. Recovery from partial meniscectomy is easier, but it does increase the possibility of future complications such as arthritis. It can also accelerate knee degeneration because weight distribution around the area can sometimes be uneven afterwards.
In a total meniscectomy, the entire meniscus is removed. It is the most invasive procedure on this list and is only performed when the damage is widespread. The decision to go for a total meniscectomy also depends on other factors such as your age, health, and activity level. The recovery period varies from four to six weeks.
Injection therapy is another non-surgical treatment option, but far more potent compared to physical therapy. Injection therapy—or, more specifically, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy—takes growth factors from your blood and injects them into the torn meniscus.
While still in its early stages, PRP therapy has the potential to treat tears in the white zone too. The white zone of the meniscus was traditionally thought to be non-healing because there is no direct blood supply to it.
Most importantly, it helps patients avoid the risks of osteoarthritis and accelerated knee degeneration that come with surgery. The procedure also required little to no downtime.
Not only is PRP treatment extremely effective, but it can also help you avoid surgery by healing the injured muscles and tissues before the situation worsens. RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy in greater Toronto offers PRP therapy for treating a variety of knee injuries.
Make an appointment at our clinic today for regenerative therapy by calling 1 855 847 3975.