A torn meniscus is perhaps the most common knee injury of them all. There are two menisci in each knee. They are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that, in effect, act as a cushion between the upper and lower leg bones. Imagine how painful it would be if whenever you jumped and landed on your feet, your shin bone and your thigh bone hammered into one another. Each menisci acts as a shock absorber to prevent that from happening.
Nearly one million people in the US each year suffer from a torn meniscus. A meniscus can tear or rupture when put under extreme pressure, or if it experiences some sudden trauma. This causes swelling and pain and restricts the movement of the knee. If physical activity is a major aspect of your life, then you could experience a torn meniscus in the near future.
The Most Common Solution to Moderate-to-severe Torn Meniscus Problems is Surgery
Around 700,000 meniscus surgeries are performed in the US each year, at a cost of around four billion dollars (if you don’t want to do the math, then that’s around $5,700 per surgery). The success of such surgeries has long been under question, and a recent study has shown that alternative treatments, such as regenerative medicine, are just as effective, if not more so.
In a controlled study of 146 patients, 70 were given meniscus surgery and 76 were given ‘sham surgery’ (i.e. they were given all the signs that surgery had been undertaken, even though no actual surgery was performed). Both sets then went through a rehabilitation process.
The results were staggering – the people who were given ‘sham surgery’ showed the same rates of recovery as those who had been operated upon.
Meniscus Repair Surgery Has Been Described as ‘Ineffective, Dangerous and Expensive’
The body is always fully capable of repairing itself given time and rest. For many people, the healing process can be accelerated with the use of techniques such as regenerative medicine, which uses the body’s own stem cells as a ‘helping hand’. It certainly seems clear that physicians need to stop automatically recommending surgery to their patients for meniscus repairs, given the expense and the low chance of it making any difference.
If you would like to know more about regenerative medicine treatments including stem cell therapy, then please get in touch with us at the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine. One of our regenerative medicine doctors would be happy to sit down with you and provide a complimentary consultation to discuss your current health needs. Feel free to give us a call today at (248) 216-1008 to schedule your consultation.