There are several things which are considered for meniscus rupture treatment. Location and extent of the tear, level of pain, activity level of the patient, age of the patient, time of the injury, and preference of the doctor are some of the factors that determine the meniscus rupture treatment options.
There are some common types of treatment choices and those are:
- Surgical repairs for sewing the tears together.
- Nonsurgical meniscus treatment options involving anti-inflammatory drugs and rehabilitation approaches.
- Partial meniscectomy- This is done for removing the torn section.
- Total meniscectomy- This surgery involves removal of the total meniscus. But this surgery is avoided as it increases the risks of osteoarthritis in the knees.
Meniscus surgery is generally done by arthroscopy than cutting a large in the knee. The location of the meniscus tear is also one of the major factors which determine the treatment choices. It is highly needed that your doctor should know the exact location of your meniscus tear prior operating the area.
If the tear is at the outer edge of the knee’s meniscus then it has high chances of healing by a good blood supply. Minor tear generally heals on its own by proper rest and with a knee brace specially for meniscus tear injuries. But if the teat does not heal then it may be sewn together. This type of repair is successful in the red zone of the meniscus.
But the white zone or the two-third area in the inner of the meniscus generally takes time to repair as blood supply is not good in this area. Usually this tear does not heal on its own. If torn pieces of meniscus float into the spaces of the joints then there are chances of knee locking. In these cases, partial meniscectomy is done to remove the torn portion. To smooth the meniscus, edges of remaining meniscus are generally shaved.
However in cases where the tear extends itself from the outer edge or red zone of the meniscus to the inner area or the white zone of the meniscus then it gets enough blood supply that helps it to heal. In such cases the tear can be removed or repaired. The orthopedic surgeons decide about the removing or repairing the meniscus tear during surgery.
The pattern of tears also helps to determine if the tear is to repair or remove. Tears which are longitudinal are repairable. Radial tears can also be repaired depending on their locations. But oblique or flap repairs and horizontal repairs are not difficult to repair. However, lateral meniscus tears heal faster than the medial meniscus repair.
It is always preferable preserving meniscus as saving an injured meniscus through a meniscus repair generally reduces the chances of degeneration of the knee joint. It is also a fact that in younger people, those who are less than 40 years of age, meniscus repair is successful compared to the older people. It is because these people have more stability in their ligaments, and this helps the recovery process faster and easy.