Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, Florida
The knee is a very complicated joint, comprised of the large thigh bone or femur articulating with the lower leg bone or tibia. In between the two bones is the meniscus – a C-shaped fibro-cartilaginous structure. In each knee joint there are two meniscus – the medial on the inside and the lateral on the outside of the leg. Meniscuses are frequently associated with injury and can be a source of chronic knee pain.
A torn meniscus is a very common injury in sports, especially contact sports. However, anyone at any age can tear a meniscus. This office has treated people well into their 70’s and 80’s, who have spontaneously torn their meniscus without associated traumatic event. When most people say they have torn cartilage in their knee, they are referring to a torn meniscus.
Types of meniscal tears
A torn meniscus previously has been treated with open surgical intervention, and more recently with arthroscopic techniques.
Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus
The symptoms of a torn meniscus may occur with an acute pop or painful sensation. This is usually associated with knee stiffness and swelling, and frequently with locking, or the knee giving way. Frequently, the range of motion of the knee is affected. A skilled physician in a proper physical examination may diagnose a torn meniscus, but overt swelling, initially in the acute phase, often hinders this. X-rays do not show meniscal tears as they are soft tissue structures and are not bony. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful in evaluating meniscal tears, as well as ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasound has a benefit when performing diagnostic and therapeutic injections such as visco supplementation or corticosteroid injections to decrease inflammation. Surgical repair can be necessary if the knee does not respond to conservative measures such as physical therapy.
Alternative Treatment for Torn Meniscus
Alternative treatment for torn meniscus focuses on regenerating the torn part of the meniscus through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy. Some surgeons are combining the two techniques: trimming the torn part of the meniscus, then filling the defect (the removed area) with normal tissue from the body through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell technology. Often times, the roughen surface of a torn meniscus may need to be surgically modified to make it a smooth surface. However, the body’s own regenerative powers can often fix this, aided by the newer techniques of platelet-rich plasma or stem cell therapy.
With platelet-rich plasma (PRP), the healing or growth factors in a person’s own blood are captured and injected into the knee. This may help to heal and regenerate the damaged meniscal segment.
Additionally, stem cell therapy may help regrow the injured cartilage. Stem cells can be processed from either a person’s abdominal fat or bone marrow. Once processed, the stem cells are directed into the torn meniscus using a variety of techniques.
Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy are innovative and cutting-edge treatment techniques that may help repair chronic or acutely damaged meniscal problems.
If you suffer with chronic knee pain caused by a torn meiscus and your current treatment plan leaves you wanting more options, perhaps a fresh set of experienced eyes can change your outlook. Since 1990, Dennis M. Lox, M.D has applied his personal interests in sports medicine, cutting-edge regenerative medicine and chronic pain management to helping patients increase their quality of life. Contact us for an appointment at 727-462-5582.
Dennis M. Lox, MD, and the Florida Spine Center serve patients within the greater Tampa Bay area, including Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg, as well as all of Florida and the US.
All statements, information or opinions provided by this website are provided for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose nor treat through this website or by telephone. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.
Regarding platelet-rich plasma or stem cell therapy: Neither statements nor treatments have been evaluated by the FDA. We do not claim that these treatments work for any listed or unlisted condition. Patient testimonials offer only the patient’s impression of how a therapy worked for them – individual results will vary; results are not guaranteed nor warranteed. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.