Knee Meniscal Surgery Over 50: A Problem in Science
Knee Meniscal Surgery and Degenerative Arthritis
What happens when you have trauma and knee meniscal surgery? Does age matter? Is being over 50 different for knee surgery than 25?
Yes it does matter. Everything in life changes with age. The same with your car. A new car doesn’t make the noises it makes with 75,000 miles. Your car also doesn’t like being in a car crash with age either. Rust, wear and tear has an effect on your car, your home, and your body.
With knees, time and age affects people differently. Trauma, sports injury, and prior knee surgery have an added toil on the wearing of degenerative knee arthritis over time.
Trauma and Surgery
Why is this?
Trauma causes damage at the cellular level. The knee cartilage is composed of a cartilage cell known as a chondrocyte. This surrounded by collagen fibers in a network of ground substances known as the extracellular matrix. This is mostly water, sugar- protein complex’s (including glucosamine and Chondrogen sulfate), and Hyaluronic acid. Yes, the same hyaluronic acid in your knee injections, and the same glucosamine chondrontin sulfate found in many over the counter supplements.
Trauma disrupts and frequently tears the collagen fibers and damage occurs to the matrix network. Significant damage, such as an ACL tear results in irreversible changes to the structure of the knee cartilage. This sets in motion a irreversible progression of degenerative arthritis changes.
This progression may be different for different people. Weight, more trauma (think football), more surgery, occupations and Father Time all affect the outcome. Not only does trauma accelerate the progression of knee arthritis, surgery by knee meniscal debridement further causes trauma to the cartilage network, by surgically disrupting or removing pieces of the cartilage and knee meniscus.
Aged Degenerative Knees Over 50
Now after understanding the basic science of why knees wear from trauma and surgery, what happens to an already aged knee over 50, when you have knee meniscal surgery?
The plain truth is it ages faster, or put another way, knee degenerative arthritis is progressing at an even faster rate. This means the likelihood of having a total knee replacement surgery after knee meniscus surgery over 50 is greater. Understanding the basic science of knees, trauma and surgery can greatly benefit someone who is considering knee meniscal surgery over the age of 50.
Knowing what risk factors will make it even worse, such as obesity, prior knee surgeries, multiple knee traumatic events all help in patients understanding and knowledge. A good decision can be made with good information.
About Dennis M. Lox, M.D.
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.