We understand how it feels to be frustrated by knee pain.
You may feel frustrated, anxious, and afraid. Feeling like you might not get to participate in activities you’ve always enjoyed, fearful that you might need surgery that could affect you for the rest of your life.
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Partial knee menisectomy is a very common surgery that involves removing the torn part of the meniscus. The meniscus is a natural shock absorber for the knee. In fact, in America alone, we perform about 700,000 of these surgeries per year, making it one of the most common orthopedic surgeries. While most patients think they’re getting a meniscus repair procedure, the truth is, 96% of these surgeries just whack out a piece of the shock absorber, leaving your knee less and not more protected.
There have been many high-quality research studies over the past decade or more that were designed to answer the specific question, “Is surgery necessary for a torn meniscus?” What did they show? No matter what the clinical scenario: meniscus tear with arthritis, meniscus tear without arthritis, or locking of the knee, all three large studies showed that meniscus surgery was not effective or no better than just physical therapy.
The innovative regenerative procedures offered by Chicago Arthritis restore knee function and mobility and decrease pain without the need for surgery by regenerating damaged tissue. During this outpatient procedure, our expert physicians use precise image guidance to inject custom concentrations of your body’s natural healing agents into the exact areas of damage. These cells work in the site of your injury to grow into new, healthy tissue to help tighten and stabilize your knee joint for better function and mobility.
Please keep in mind that there may even be some complications associated with meniscus surgery, prolonging the recovery period even more. This includes complications with anesthesia, such as respiratory or cardiac malfunction, infections, and injury to nerves and blood vessels, fracture, weakness, stiffness or instability of the joint, inability to repair the meniscus, repeated rupture of the meniscus, or the need for additional surgeries.
Can you ever truly recover from parts of your knee meniscus being removed surgically? In the long run, almost all meniscus surgeries also accelerate degeneration that leads to osteoarthritis and exacerbate the biomechanical problems that initially led to the need for the surgery. Rather than cutting torn pieces, our physicians use precise injections of the patient’s own stem cells and platelets to help the problem.
Recent research shows that some of the most popular orthopedic knee surgeries, including meniscectomies, have no benefit and are not more effective than placebo or sham surgery. But can a meniscus tear heal on its own when left untreated? Non-surgical treatments for meniscus tears for healing on their own include physical therapy, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Interventional orthopedics also provides a non-surgical alternative that uses your own cells to repair the damage.
With that being said, this is possible through an injection of the patient’s own healing substances, like platelet-rich plasma or bone marrow concentrate. We have published cases of healed ACL ligaments (many of which were completely torn) after we precisely injected bone marrow concentrate using precise fluoroscopy guidance. Many of these patients were told that they were surgical candidates. After treatment at our clinic, they then had post-injection MRIs showing ACL regrowth and went back to full activity. They also had a lower re-tear rate than if they had surgery.
At the Chicago Arthritis, we offer are non-surgical walk-in/walk-out treatments that use sophisticated imaging guidance to place orthobiologics directly into the torn parts of the knee. If you have a knee injury, please consult one of our physicians to see if you can avoid surgery.
Your body is built to repair itself. At Chicago Arthritis, our goal is to save your ACL, not replace it. We offer a non-surgical alternative that uses your own orthobiologics to help repair your damaged ACL. Our physicians use precise image-guided injections of your own body’s healing agents that can help repair the tissue. This procedure is highly technical and requires advanced injection skills using X-ray guidance, but we’ve seen it take ACLs that have been read out on MRI as completely torn and return them to a normal MRI signal, tighten them down to normal levels, and reduce pain while increasing function.