Knee Meniscal Tears
The knee meniscus is comprised of two disc like structures one known as the medial meniscus the other the lateral meniscus. The medial meniscus lies on the inside of the knee, while the lateral meniscus lies on the outside of the knee.
The two menisci as they are collectively known, function to protect he knee joint and serve as a knee stabilizer in the many requirements and strains placed upon the knee joint.
Day to day activities impart demand and stress upon the knee. Sports serve as multiple avenues for knee injury and meniscal tears. There are many types of knee meniscal tears. Some such as bucket handle tears may obstruct the joint with motion.
The underlying problem with most knee meniscal tears lies in there relative lack of blood supply known as avascularity. This lack of blood flow renders the meniscus lacking the necessary supplies to repair itself when damaged.
This also is a source of failure of stem cells to arrive at the scene of injury, combined with diminishing numbers of stem cells with aging. These factors compromise healing and innate regeneration. The outcome for most knee meniscal tears is eventual degeneration or osteoarthritis. Indeed trauma is well known to precipitate knee arthritis development.
Surgery may provide temporary relief of knee symptoms especially if joint obstruction occurs. However, by removing portions of the knee meniscus with surgery, the meniscus is further damaged and knee joint arthritis is further accelerated. This is obviously a problem and statistics have shown the rate of knee joint replacements for knee arthritis continues to escalate.
Reflecting the failure of all treatments for knee disorders including meniscal tears, to be ineffective at halting the progression of knee joint arthritis.
Regenerative Medicine has emerged as a treatment option that is finding a place in this quandry. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy are being considered as viable treatment options for knee meniscal tears and knee arthritis.
Professional athletes in nearly all major sports have undergone PRP and Knee Stem Cell Therapy. This has been applied to meniscal tears from all sources, including degenerative meniscal tears.