4 Factors That Determine the Treatment for Meniscal Tears

Meniscus Tear SurgeryHave you torn your meniscus? Your doctor may recommend rest, ice, medication, physical therapy, or surgery to treat this knee cartilage injury. Here are some of the factors that may influence the doctor’s recommendations:

1. Location of the Tear

The outer portion of your meniscus has an adequate supply of blood. A tear in this “red zone” may heal on its own. Surgery may also help repair a tear that fails to heal on its own.

Conversely, the inner region of the meniscus lacks a rich blood supply. This “white zone” then doesn’t have access to healing nutrients. Surgeons trim away tears in this area.

2. The Severity of the Injury

The size or length of a tear may determine its treatment. A Grade 1 or Grade 2 tear is mild and rarely requires surgery. A surgery may be necessary only if the patient is likely to engage in activities that may worsen the tear.

Grade 3 meniscal tears are large, unstable, and symptomatic. These tears often require surgical interventions. A meniscus surgery in Provo may repair the cartilage or remove the unstable edges.

3.  Age of the Patient

Other than trauma or injury, the meniscus may also tear from degeneration. People 35 years old or older are at risk for degenerative meniscal tears.

If you get a degenerative tear, your less vascular meniscus may not heal itself. It may also be difficult to repair the cartilage. You may then need to undergo meniscus surgery to excise the tear.

4.  Other Factors

Do you have other knee injuries? Related injuries and your activity level may impact your treatment options. Surgery may also be necessary if symptoms persist with conservative treatment.

Over 40 percent of persons 65 or older have meniscus tears. These knee cartilage injuries are also common in both contact and non-contact sports. If you tear your meniscus, consult your doctor immediately to learn which treatment option is best for your condition.