Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus
The symptoms of a torn meniscus may occur with an acute pop or painful sensation. This is usually associated with knee stiffness and swelling, and frequently with locking, or the knee giving way. Frequently, the range of motion of the knee is affected. A skilled physician in a proper physical examination may diagnose a torn meniscus, but overt swelling, initially in the acute phase, often hinders this. X-rays do not show meniscal tears as they are soft tissue structures and are not bony. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful in evaluating meniscal tears, as well as ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasound has a benefit when performing diagnostic and therapeutic injections such as visco supplementation or corticosteroid injections to decrease inflammation. Surgical repair can be necessary if the knee does not respond to conservative measures such as physical therapy.
Alternative Treatment for Torn Meniscus
Alternative treatment for torn meniscus focuses on regenerating the torn part of the meniscus through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy. Some surgeons are combining the two techniques: trimming the torn part of the meniscus, then filling the defect (the removed area) with normal tissue from the body through platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell technology. Often times, the roughen surface of a torn meniscus may need to be surgically modified to make it a smooth surface. However, the body’s own regenerative powers can often fix this, aided by the newer techniques of platelet-rich plasma or stem cell therapy.
With platelet-rich plasma (PRP), the healing or growth factors in a person’s own blood are captured and injected into the knee. This may help to heal and regenerate the damaged meniscal segment.
Additionally, stem cell therapy may help regrow the injured cartilage. Stem cells can be processed from either a person’s abdominal fat or bone marrow. Once processed, the stem cells are directed into the torn meniscus using a variety of techniques.
Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy are innovative and cutting-edge treatment techniques that may help repair chronic or acutely damaged meniscal problems.