Meniscus tears can be disabling for an athlete. They are common for athletes at any level, but they may be especially likely for athletes involved in advanced or professional sporting activities or athletes who are getting older. Thankfully, treatment for meniscus tears is steadily improving, and treatment options are now available that weren’t a possibility in the past.
What Happens When Your Meniscus Tears?
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee that absorbs shocks between the tibia and the femur. Keeping this cartilage in good condition is absolutely essential for any activity involving the knees. It can be very difficult to heal the meniscus, leading to a long and sometimes ineffective recovery process after injury.
Traditional Treatments for Meniscus Tears
Traditionally, there hasn’t been much available in terms of formal treatment for injuries to the meniscus. The typical recommendation was to use pain-relieving medication and rest and hope that the meniscus healed on its own. In the past, doctors often removed the meniscus if the tear wasn’t resolved with rest and if pain medication wasn’t sufficient to improve quality of life.
Unfortunately, removing the meniscus entirely left the knee joint less stable and made it even less likely that patients would be able to return to their athletic endeavors. Furthermore, removing the meniscus sometimes caused osteoarthritis to develop much earlier in life than it typically would.
Stem Cell Therapy For Meniscus Tears
Now, the outlook for athletes who have suffered from meniscus tears is much better, thanks in part to the option of stem cell therapy. Meniscus tear therapy offers more extensive therapeutic benefits for meniscus tears than traditional treatments.
Stem cells that are taken from one’s body can be injected into the meniscus. These cells will naturally grow into cartilage in the meniscus and heal the tear that has taken place. Furthermore, as time goes on, these stem cells can reduce inflammation and replace damaged cells so that you may not even know that you had suffered from a meniscus injury. When combined with rest and medication for your pain, this kind of stem cell therapy can be extremely effective for meniscus tears.
A Possible Cure for Meniscus Tears
Meniscus tears can be extremely damaging and disabling for an athlete. They have been responsible for ending many athletic careers in the past. However, technological and scientific advancement has brought to light more options for the treatment of these debilitating tears. Every case is different, and it’s always best to consult a general practitioner before seeking out specialized treatment for injuries. New treatment options mean the potential that more athletes and active adults can return to the sports they love and their previously active lifestyle after meniscus tears.