The meniscus is a small piece of cartilage that protects your knee by cushioning the connection between your thighbone and shin. Severe trauma or wear over time can cause the meniscus to tear; when this happens, pain ensues and it becomes extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to walk. If you have suffered a meniscus tear, then you should know how it can be treated for the best recovery potential.. Here are some treatment options for a torn meniscus:
On rare occasions, it may be recommended to you that rest and anti-inflammatory action (ice, pain killers, etc) are the only necessary treatments for a torn meniscus. Doctors will only recommend this if there is only a small partial tear in the meniscus. Since there is no guarantee that your body will correctly heal itself, this treatment option is often used in conjunction with other forms of meniscus tear treatment. In these cases, rest and anti-inflammatory treatments serve as a way to prevent the body from undergoing further damage before the other treatments begin. Although rest is the least expensive treatment option, it is also by far the least effective.
Physical therapy for meniscus tears is designed to optimize knee stability and reduce the level of inflammation during recovery. A physical therapy treatment usually includes a combination of strength and flexibility exercises for the muscles and tissues surrounding the meniscus, compression and the use of a brace.
Physical therapy is occasionally used in conjunction with other treatment options, including PRP therapy, rest and surgery; this usually enhances the success rate of all meniscus tear treatment options involved. When used alone, though, it costs less than half as much as surgical treatment.
Surgery has been a common torn meniscus treatment option for many years. If the meniscus is so badly torn that it appears to be impossible for the body to repair it without help, then surgery may be your only option. Because of its invasive and expensive nature (surgery is the most expensive treatment option on this list), surgery is often sought out if other treatments have not had enough success. There is not, however, a singular surgical approach to treating a torn meniscus. There are actually two:
Surgical meniscus repair
This meniscus tear treatment option involves sewing the torn meniscus tissue back together. This is the most common -- and least invasive -- form of surgical meniscus tear treatment.
Partial or total meniscectomy
Due to the invasive nature of a meniscectomy, and the fact that it increases the risk of osteoarthritis, this treatment option is to be avoided whenever possible.
*Full recovery from all forms of meniscus surgeries will take many months.
Platelet rich plasma therapy
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an extremely popular treatment option for treating a torn meniscus. This is a very straightforward treatment solution that only takes minutes to complete. During PRP therapy, a small amount of blood is removed from your body. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge so that platelets, which play a critical role in tissue repair, are highly concentrated. The platelet-rich blood is then injected at the site of the injury. PRP therapy is an outpatient treatment, so after this, you can go home. There may be some minor pain after the treatment.
In addition, PRP therapy can be seamlessly combined with other treatments to further enhance your ability to recover from a meniscus tear. For example, the rate at which you can recover from a meniscus tear via a combination of physical therapy and PRP therapy can dramatically enhance the quality and speed of your recovery; even if you only undergo rest and anti-inflammatory treatment, PRP will enhance the results. With a cost that is lower than that of physical therapy or surgery, PRP therapy is extremely cost effective as a standalone meniscus tear treatment solution.
Which meniscus tear treatment option is best for you?
It is important that you choose the best meniscus tear treatment option for yourself to maximize the chances of successful recovery while minimizing the recovery time -- without breaking the bank.
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition