Meniscus Tears – Why Stem Cell Therapy May Be Your Best Option
Knee meniscus tears are one of the more common knee injuries we treat. Surgical options for the meniscus typically involve cutting out parts of the meniscus, setting the patient up for a high likelihood of arthritis in the future. Stem Cell treatment of meniscus tears offers patients a minimally invasive same-day injection procedure that may help heal the injured tissue and allow the individual to avoid the painful and lengthy recovery that typically follows surgery.
Risks Associated with Knee Surgeries
The following are all possible complications from traditional knee surgeries:
- A 25-31X increase in the risk of heart attack
- Blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and/ or lungs (pulmonary embolism)
- Infection immediately after surgery
- Infection of the implants years later due to a blood infection up to years later.
- Wear particles in the bloodstream
- Continued pain despite the joint being replaced
- Painful recovery period of several months
- Permanent decrease in range of motion, strength, or activity level
The Regenexx Procedure and a Knee Meniscus Tear
The meniscus is a shock-absorbing cartilage in the middle of your knee. There are two menisci: one on the inside (”medial”) and another on the outside of the knee (”lateral”). A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that up to two-thirds of the time, meniscus tears seen on an MRI may not be causing pain.
Video: What is a Knee Meniscus Tear?
The Side Effects of Knee Meniscus Surgery
The meniscus is an important shock absorber of the knee that protects the cartilage. More than 90% of the time, when knee surgery is performed the surgeon simply cuts out the torn piece. Less shock absorber means more shock is delivered to the cartilage and bone. As time goes by, this tissue reacts, cartilage is lost and the knee begins to form new bone spurs. Research papers have plotted the amount of increased force versus the amount of meniscus removed and it’s pretty. More recent papers have confirmed that removing parts of the meniscus results in more knee arthritis. While there are a very few instances where the torn meniscus piece has to be removed surgically, the routine removal of parts and pieces of meniscus isn’t supported by any medical evidence. In fact, a recent paper has shown that meniscus surgery is no better on average than just sending the patient to physical therapy.