One of the most common knee injuries is a torn meniscus. Situated between the skin and thigh bone in the leg, your meniscus is the cartilage that separates the bones in the joint and ensures smooth, fluid movements. Movements that place abnormal strain or forceful twisting can put undue stress on the joints, causing the cartilage to tear. Given that it is such a prevalent injury, an increasing amount of research is being done to determine the most efficacious treatment option for a torn meniscus.
The specialists at Regenerative Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are experts in regenerative therapies that serve as alternative options to surgical procedures. Utilizing the body’s internal healing mechanisms to regenerate and repair damaged tissues. Many of our patients are athletes or are suffering from sports-related knee injuries.
Treating a Meniscus Tear
When it comes to treating a torn meniscus, there are two primary treatments that are considered, surgical methods and regenerative orthopedic methods.
Studies show that surgery alone can make things worse or put you at risk of reinjuring yourself. The meniscus is known to be inherently poor at healing itself due to its lack of access to regenerative growth factors present in your bloodstream.
Surgical Meniscus Treatment
The main question when treating meniscus tears is, can it be repaired or will it be resected (cut out)? Patients that are younger, 30 and below, are generally good candidates for repair. Once you are older repairs are typically less successful.
There are portions of the cartilage situated in what is known as an avascular area, meaning there is no adjacent blood flow. This area is not capable of the same level of healing that the vascular region is and is therefore likely to heal incompletely and is at a greater risk of additional injury in the future.
This 2013 double-blinded randomized controlled study compared arthroscopic meniscectomy to sham surgery in patients age 35 – 65. One group had their meniscus tear resected and cleaned up. The other group had portals placed in the knee and saline was flushed into the knee and then removed. There was no surgical treatment of the tear. At the end of 12 months, there was no difference between the surgery group and the non-surgical group.
MFAT Meniscus Treatment
Lipogems, also known as micro-fragmented fat (MFAT) have been proven to help patients with knee osteoarthritis and meniscus tears, with this 2020 study indicates significant improvements in MFAT patients following treatment. Adipose (fat) is an excellent source of mesenchymal stem cells, vascular cells called pericytes, and structural collagen fibers. These cells bind to the injury site and release hundreds of chemical messengers, which repair the damaged tissue.
ROSM specialists use image-guided ultrasound to precisely inject micro-fragmented adipose into the site of injury, with higher accuracy ensuring more effective treatment. ROSM has provided thousands of patients with MFAT therapy and has seen firsthand the benefits their patients have experienced.
MFAT injections are so effective because of their incredibly high concentration of growth factors paired with the ultrasound guidance tools used to deliver treatment directly into the injury site. This means that treatment can be administered to the more isolated avascular area of the meniscus that often remains unrepaired in surgical procedures. By introducing growth factors to this area, the meniscus tear can heal more completely and offer a higher resilience against future injuries.
MFAT Injection Therapy at ROSM
If you have suffered from a meniscus tear or are suffering from knee osteoarthritis symptoms, reach out to the specialists at Regenerative Orthopedics and Sports Medicine for more information about our MFAT injection therapy. Call or book a consultation online to take the first step towards pain relief and improved quality of life.