Knee Meniscus Surgery Can Increase Your Risk for Developing Arthritis

Knee meniscus surgery can increase your risk for developing arthritis

The meniscus is a C-shaped ring of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the tibia and femur in the knee. Each knee has both a medial and a lateral meniscus. The meniscus can be torn due to trauma or can be damaged from normal wear and tear. The meniscus naturally protects the underlying cartilage of the knee joint. When people undergo surgery for a torn meniscus, a piece of this natural cushion is removed. Over 700,000 meniscus surgeries are performed per year on average in the United States. The vast majority of the surgeries are not needed.

A recent study https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0038-1646926 examined the effect of arthroscopic partial meniscectomy and long-term effect on the knee joint. Researchers compared radiologic images before and many years after meniscectomy. On average this was 8 years later. Results showed a 63% of the knees operated on developed arthritis whereas 28% of the opposite knee developed arthritis in the same patient. Clearly there is a significant increase in risk for having surgery.

Another study examining the need for meniscus surgery published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed no benefit. In this study 146 patient’s ages 35-64 were randomized to meniscal surgery versus sham surgery and no benefit was noted for the group that underwent the meniscal surgery. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1305189?query=featured_home

A recent study https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/4/856/htm on PRP as a treatment option for meniscal tears showed positive effects, 52% in the PRP group versus 30% in the control. Also, none of these patients underwent surgery so they don’t have the increased risk of arthritis a later time.

What does all this mean?

Just because your MRI may show a torn meniscus, you should think twice before considering meniscus surgery. Surgery will greatly increase your risk for developing arthritis later in life and multiple studies have shown that the surgeries are not indicated.

At Regenexx Pittsburgh we have a better way. Our state-of-the-art PRP and stem cell treatments are non-surgical options that can heal your torn meniscus and prevent the development of arthritis later in life. Schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified physicians to discuss the most effective treatment options.

About The Author
Dr. Marc Adelsheimer

Dr. Marc Adelsheimer

Dr. Marc Adelsheimer

Dr. Marc Adelsheimer

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Knee

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Knee Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Patellofemoral
  • Syndrome/Chondomalacia
  • ACL Tears + PCL, LCL & MCL Tears & Sprains
  • Patellar Tendonitis
  • Pes anersine bursitis
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Instability
  • Hamstrings Tendinopathy & Biceps Femoris Insertional Tendinopathy

Lower Spine

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Spine Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Lumbar Facet Injury
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated or Bulging Disc
  • Radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Many More Disc and Low Back Issues

Foot & Ankle

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Foot & Ankle Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Ankle Instability
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Peroneal tendon tear or split
  • Ligament sprain or tear
  • Sub-talar arthritis or instability
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Bunions

Cervical Spine

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Spine Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Cervical Instability
  • Cervical Facet Injury
  • Neck, Back or Rib Instability
  • Many More Disc and Cervical Issues Causing Pain

Hip

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Hip Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinopathy
  • Labral / Labrum Tear

Shoulder

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Shoulder Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Arthritis of the shoulder joint
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Labral tears or degeneration
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis & tendonosis
  • AC Joint Separation
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocations

Elbow

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Elbow Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Nerve entrapment (ulnar nerve)

Hand & Wrist

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Hand & Wrist Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Hand Arthritis
  • Basal Joint Arthritis or CMC / Carpometacarpal
  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • TFCC Tear
  • Carpal Tunnel SyndromeTrigger Finger