Surgery for your torn meniscus may help you. But there's a good chance that it's not necessary and that it won't "fix" your problem. In fact it could make it worse.
A torn meniscus is a common knee injury which often leads people towards surgery. The most common surgery is an excision also known as a partial meniscectomy. This is when they remove the torn piece or trim it.
PARTIAL MENISCECTOMY (PM) OFTEN LEADS TO ARTHRITIS...
63% developed arthritis after partial meniscectomy
Here's a study that said 63% developed arthritis within 8 years compared to 28% in the non-operated knee.
"Osteoarthritis" is believed to be caused by mechanical stress on the joint and chronic inflammation. Guess what increases joint stress?
- PM is strong risk factor for arthritis.
- Cutting out as little as 10% can increase joint stress by 70%.
"Although patients may be able to return to high-level sports after meniscectomy, long-term results suggest that meniscectomy significantly reduces the longevity of an athlete’s career."
Possibly because PM disrupts the mechanical function of the knee.
How does partial meniscectomy compare to SHAM surgery? (randomized control trial)
MENISCAL REPAIR (stitches) IS THE BETTER SURGICAL OPTION.
But repairs have a higher re-operation rate than meniscectomy.
Check these stats out
Studies on the failure rate:
And the weird thing is that some doctors may only try the repair surgery if you’re of a certain age or if it's in the "red zone".
Many surgeons do not know for sure what they will do until they go into the joint with an arthroscopic camera. Repair is the more difficult procedure to do and if it's in a difficult region or the tear is complex then they will likely remove the torn piece.
THE TIME LAG BETWEEN EVIDENCE AND PRACTICE
Chances are you will get "conventional" medicine and not very "advanced" medicine. Well, compared to a 100 years ago you are, but know that your "average" orthopedic surgeon isn't practicing the most up to date techniques.
On average the time lag is...
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
That there's better practices, better ways to repair or encourage healing (which are backed by studies), BUT your average ortho isn't practicing those yet because they are bound by convention and bureaucracy.
ALSO if you ask a surgeon how to solve your problem he's likely going to offer what?
A surgical solution.
Here's an informal "study" (02:17) on what happens to some people after surgery courtesy of Google search results:
Read the searches related to queries
THE RED AND WHITE ZONE?
Can tears in the white zone heal? (03:53)
The inner white part is non-vascular. Some ortho's will say tears in the white zone cannot heal, but is that true?
To say that it can't repair itself is false. It may be difficult, take more time or need prompting, but it's not without nutrition & it's not a dead tissue.
The meniscus receives nutrition from the synovial fluid, bone and outer (red zone) meniscus.
Yes, here's a study that shows that cells in the "red" zone were able to cross over to the white zone.
How did it grow in the first place if there was no blood supply?
You also have stem cells in your knee after an injury:
And macrophages... (they clean debris + dead cells in the joint)
Wanna know how to increase those stem cells, macrophages, & growth factors?
See the course...
CAN CARTILAGE HEAL AND REGENERATE ITSELF?
If you ask an orthopedic (not all but many) they will say "no" (00:26) or it is very limited. But here is a study that shows 37% of the subjects had an improvement in the defects in their knees and 33% had a worsening over a period of 2 years.
What about the rest?
I gathered the rest did not complete the study.
Again you may have a good experience with surgery. But I am sharing some studies with you that I found when I hurt my knee. Surgery is a decision that comes with results that often can't be reversed, so I would do extensive research before proceeding.