By Phillip Steele, MD RMSK, CAQ Sports Medicine
Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, out of 295 knee surgeries for Meniscus repair that occurred over a 9-year period, 37 needed subsequent surgeries to correct a failed repair.
A review of literature for meniscus repair surgery found that the failure rate for meniscus repair surgery could range anywhere from 5-45%. One of the problems with this type of surgery, surgeons often remove a portion of the Meniscus tissue surrounding the tear. The reason for this is that meniscus tears in the low vascular “interior” of the knee lack adequate blood supply to help repair the tear and may not heal properly. This approach unfortunately can lead to complications including increased arthritis in the knee.
Meniscus tissue acts as a shock absorber for knee, protecting the femur and tibial cartilage, which is why regenerative therapy is so promising. Regenerative therapy may actually heal the injury instead of surgically incising during the procedure. Regenerative therapy with adipose derived stem cells (ADSC) and Platelet Rich Plasma is a less invasive procedure and a timely return to normal daily activity when compared to surgery.
To maximize healing, Stem Cell treatments are used with other regenerative treatments including A2M and Releasate. While sometimes there is no alternative to surgical repair based on an unstable meniscus tear such as bucket handle tear. With degenerative tears biologic repair offers a better option.
Another recent study demonstrated that a group of patients receiving stem cell treatment for degenerative meniscus tears experienced double the pain relief compared to a control group in the study over a 2 year period. In particular, the study noted that there were no adverse events related to the treatment. This fact alone makes regenerative therapy for meniscus tear something that should be strongly considered.
Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine is the leader of Regenerative Medicine in Montana.