Your meniscus is the cartilage in your knee joint that provides cushioning, support and lubrication for movement. Traditionally, people with degenerative meniscus tears are offered surgery. To be specific, degenerative tears are those that occur over time. They are not tears resulting from traumatic injuries (those may still require surgery). There has been a long debate whether surgery is necessary or beneficial for degenerative meniscus tears.
This randomized clinical trial compared a 5-year follow up of surgical versus non-surgical outcomes for degenerative meniscus tears in patients 45-70 years old. What they found was that people with degenerative meniscus tears do not need their knee scoped.
We’ll say it again: people with degenerative meniscus tears do not need surgery!
Exercise-based physical therapy should be the preferred treatment over surgery. Surgeries for these types of tears do not have better outcomes than physical therapy and may cause more pain due to the incisions and inherent risks of surgery. If you are struggling with an injury similar to this, we can help you get out of pain while avoiding unnecessary surgeries.