An article published in December of 2013, please click here: Common Knee Surgery Does Very Little for Some , raises an interesting question about who should have surgeries for meniscal tears and when it is most beneficial. The study suggests that many knee surgeries may be unnecessary.
Studies referenced in the article show those patients who had knee surgery for meniscal degeneration had similar outcomes as patients who received a sham treatment, physical therapy, or medication. Being that this is the most popular surgery in the United States it raised the question if too many people are jumping into surgery before they are trying other options.
Meniscus tears are very common and usually are the result of two different mechanisms. A direct trauma happened to the knee, and you know exactly how/when it happened; or gradually over time it has degenerated from repetitive stress. Both forms lead to pain, soreness and a loss of mobility in the joint.
A simple test to perform at home to see if there is meniscal involvement in your knee is a one-legged squat. First make sure there is something near you to hold on for balance. Stand on one leg, squat down slightly and rotate side to side using your knee. If you are unable to do it or it is painful, call us to make an appointment. At Utah Sports & Family Chiropractic we have many different techniques to treat knee and joint injuries.
If I come across as saying all meniscal surgery is bad forgive me, it is not my intention. In fact the study does show that sports related meniscal tears, especially in younger patients, respond very well to this arthroscopic surgery. Being a Sports Chiropractor, my patient base is mostly young athletes who injure themselves playing sports so this is a discussion I have had many times. Each knee injury is unique and should be addressed individually to find out what is best for the patient.