Cutting out the meniscus from your knee is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries for knee pain. It has been exhaustively shown multiple times in clinical studies over the last years that removing your meniscus may not be better than nonsurgical treatment options. In fact this surgery removes the body’s natural shock absorber in the knee making future development of arthritis more likely. In other words, go carefully prior to electing to pursue this surgery if you have not already exhausted your other non-surgical options.
An interesting new study was published comparing people who had meniscectomy surgery with an injection of hyaluronic acid (joint lubrication treatment) versus those who had the surgery then also injection of their own stem cells into their knee. The folks who had their own stem cells injected into their knee after surgery were found to have less pain and a larger volume of remaining meniscus in their knee. This is an exciting paper because of how the study was conducted and the results showing how regenerative medicine can aid after orthopedic surgery. While removing the meniscus should be done only in rare circumstances, this study suggests that subsequent re injection of your own stem cells can then help to rebuild the removed tissue, thus re-fortifying that critical layer of defense and protection.
If you are planning on going for knee meniscus surgery, first make sure that it is appropriate and that you’ve already exhausted all other nonsurgical options including platelet rich plasma and stem cells. If you go for surgery, ask your surgeon about subsequently having your own stem cells injected to protect your knee. If he doesn’t believe in regenerative medicine techniques, it may be worthwhile getting a second opinion from someone who is up to date with their knowledge in this field. In addition many people after meniscus surgery eventually end up receiving hyaluronic acid treatment injections, and this study suggests that is an inferior treatment compared to having your own stem cells injected after surgery.