A meniscus tear is a common knee injury and people are more susceptible to a tear as they age. The meniscus is a rubbery, tough cartilage that acts as a shock absorber when pressure or weight is placed on the knee joint. It also keeps the bones of the knee from grinding together when they move.
Many people mistakingly believe that surgery is the only option for treating a torn meniscus, but there are actually multiple treatment options available.
Our patients often ask us, when discussing non-surgical treatment, “What is the meniscus tear recovery time without surgery?” and, “Will my tear be able to heal without surgical intervention?”
The bottom line is, every situation is unique. The length of recovery will depend on several factors:
The Location of the Tear
Though meniscus tissue can usually bounce back quicker among younger patients, location plays a bigger role in the ability to heal.
A tear in the center of the meniscus takes longer and is harder to heal since less blood flow gets to that area. A tear on the outer edge has a shorter recovery time and is more responsive to alternative healing treatments.
Meniscus Tear Recovery Time Without Surgery Depends on the Stability of the Tear
Another big determining factor in how quickly you’ll heal depends upon the stability of the tear. A partial meniscus tear that doesn’t go all the way through is considered stable. A deeper, more extensive tear that runs all the way through the meniscus is unstable.
Patients with a stable tear are in a good potion to seek non-surgical healing methods. Your doctor can tell you how severe your tear is and what you can do to best treat it.
A meniscus can do well with non-surgical treatments if the tissue is generally healthy, has good blood supply present, and the tissue is stable. Recovery time in these situations is much shorter than knees that aren’t stable.
Your Willingness to Let Your Knee Rest
The length of time it will take for your torn meniscus to heal is going to be determined in large part by how diligent you are in resting up. You won’t be able to resume your normal physical activity, especially when that activity involves lots of bending, squats, heel raises, or general knee movements.
Follow the instructions you’ve been given from your doctor including applying ice, using a compression bandage, and elevating your knee as instructed during your healing process.
Knees that aren’t treated with care will heal slower, if at all, than those that are carefully protected during the healing process. You’ll prolonge your knee pain without the right therapy and care.
How You Can Help Heal Your Knee Quickly
Before you decide that surgery is the only way to go, we encourage you to meet with one of our experienced doctors to learn more about the treatment methods that we offer for knee pain.
We have helped many patients who have wondered about meniscus tear recovery time without surgery and we want to do the same for you. Give us a call today.