Generally speaking, the knee is a strong joint which can handle a lot. However, it isn’t always the best at withstanding certain movements. Twisting, squatting and changing positions quickly can all put stress on the knee joint – particularly on its wedge-shaped cartilage called the meniscus. If the strain is great enough, a meniscus tear may result. This can cause symptoms such as knee stiffness, swelling, pain and instability. Should this happen to you, you might wonder: Can a meniscus tear heal itself, or am I going to need surgery?
Can a Meniscus Tear Heal Itself Without Surgery?
As is the case with virtually any orthopedic injury, whether surgery is necessary to heal a torn meniscus will largely depend on individual circumstances. For a specific patient, the answer to “can a meniscus tear heal itself?” will be determined by a combination of these factors:
- Activity level
- Size of the tear
- Location of the tear
- Pattern of the tear (horizontal, radial, etc.)
- Overall health status
If the tear is located on the outer part of the meniscus, there is a chance that it may heal well on its own. However, if the tear is on the inner two-thirds – where blood supply is limited – it will most likely require surgery.
A patient’s activity level will also play a large role in determining whether they are able to recover from a meniscus tear without surgery. Typically, the more active an individual is, the more likely they are to need surgery in order to return to their normal activities and a pain-free lifestyle.
Seeking Treatment for a Meniscus Tear: Why It’s Important
You may be tempted to “tough it out” and continue your daily activities with a meniscus tear. However, doing so can result in lasting consequences. An untreated meniscus tear can cause more serious knee issues such as arthritis. Further, carrying on with activities can potentially make a meniscus tear more complicated and severe by pulling cartilage fragments into the joint.
Ultimately, finding out if torn meniscus surgery is needed requires examination of the knee by an orthopedic specialist. A skilled orthopedic surgeon can determine the location and severity of your meniscus tear using advanced technology. Taking these findings into account, they will then suggest an individualized treatment plan.
Dr. Soffer Is Here to Help You Recover from a Meniscus Tear
If you are experiencing symptoms of a torn meniscus, you can trust Dr. Stephen Soffer to provide an accurate diagnosis and any treatment you may need. Dr. Soffer is certified in the treatment of cartilage injuries of the knee, making him a highly qualified choice for your knee care.
To set up an appointment with Dr. Soffer, please call our office at 610-375-4949. We are committed to offering exceptional care so that our patients can recover from their orthopedic injuries as quickly as possible.