A meniscus is a smooth, elastic tissue that is located inside a human knee joint, that is disk shaped and acts as a shock absorber. Each knee has two of these in the shape of a wedge.
The knee joint, though tough is not necessarily the most flexible. During sporting activities, a sudden twist or turn can case a tear in this wedge shaped piece of tissue called a meniscus tear.
If left untreated, part of the meniscus may slip into the knee joint and necessitate surgery. If the size of the tear increases it can lead to arthritis.Treatment can be surgical to stitch it together or remove part of it. Or, non-surgical like PRP treatment, rehabilitation therapy and wearing braces.
But, when is surgery necessary?
This basically depends on the location, pattern and size of the tear. The age, general health and activity level of the person also affects the treatment options. Surgery may be necessary if the pain is too high or the person is not able to engage in daily activities. Surgery may help in reducing the risk of joint problems like osteoarthritis, in the future.
Surgery is generally successful in younger people and where the knee is stable. It also helps if the surgery is done within the first few weeks of the injury and the tear is longitudinal in nature.
How does Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment rule out the need for surgery?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a component of the blood which helps in the healing process. Plasma consists of proteins which help in cellular growth and is also that part of the blood which helps in the formation of blood clots.
PRP therapy thus involves injecting part of the blood back into the ailing joint. In some cases it is an alternative to surgery and in others a healing process. The procedure starts with a local anesthetic to numb the area, then an ultrasound scan to find where the injection should go and then Platelet Rich Plasma is slowly injected into the problem area.This can be done during a standard doctor visit and the patient can go home or to work immediately. There is little or no pain, fast recovery and no scar tissue.Dr Vineeth MB
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