About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision making principles --- all geared to improve your quality of life. Please read our Disclaimer

75 comments on “Root Tears of Medial Meniscus

  1. Dr. Luks,
    I really appreciate your informative site! I am 44 years old. I used to play tennis once a week. Last month I began running about 2 miles a day for the first time in 3 years, in an attempt to get more in shape and lose weight. I have since lost about 15 lbs. with about 25 more to go. After running just a few times, my left knee had some pain. Following my last run, the pain was severe and my knee felt swollen and stiff. Each day afterwards it was better. However a week later, walking was uncomfortable and suddenly I felt excruciating pain in the knee and it seemed to buckle. A few hours later I received a cortisone injection which helped tremendously for about 10 days. Since then, I do feel twinges of pain throughout the day. An MRI showed “posterior horn of medial meniscus radial tear centrally vs. posterior horn meniscal root ligament avulsion”. The MSK radiologist and my orthopedic surgeon are both now leaning toward the interpretation of the root ligament tear. I am devastated by this news as I have never experienced an injury. It is hard to hear that surgery is not a good option. I plan to begin physical therapy immediately. Would you advise pursuing surgery or trying to strengthen my leg through physical therapy? If I do not pursue surgery, would you advise discontinuing tennis? My knee does not feel weak, as if it would buckle. I am so unsure of what to do because I’m hearing a variety of opinions. Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!

    1. Certain root tears might benefit from surgery… especially those where the X-rays and MRI show little or no evidence of osteoarthritis or “joint space narrowing” .

  2. Thank you so much for your reply. That is correct – the MRI shows nothing else wrong with the knee and no osteoarthritis. Are you experienced in this surgery? My orthopedic surgeon has only done it twice. So far I haven’t found anyone else here who has performed it. Could you possibly recommend a surgeon in Memphis?

  3. Hi Dr. Luks,

    Thanks for your recent post about “Root Tears of Medial Meniscus.”

    My wife was just diagnosed this morning after getting her MRI on Monday. Last Friday she had an x-ray which obviously showed no breaks or anything else.

    At 54, my bride LOVES to run. She does not run fast or for that long. She runs a 5K about 2-4 times a week and has done two half marathons. She just started running about three years ago since a bad shoulder hindered her weight lifting.

    This rehab/surgery/etc.really needs to go well since she this is all she has left.

    Do you know anybody who lives close to Rochester, NY that you recommend?

    Thanks so much for your time,

    Ernie O.

    1. HI Ernie …
      I’m sorry… I do not know of anyone in the Rochester region.

      best of luck to your wife!

    1. Flap tears which are causing “mechanical” symptoms — popping, catching, locking, severe sharp pain might go on to require an arthroscopy. Not always, but more often when compared to degenerative tears.

  4. Hi Dr. Luks, I am 45 years old and 252lb. My knee started hurting after normal walk. I just got my MRI report and conclusion says that (1) Complete radial tear through the posterior attachment of the medial meniscus with mild extrusion of the body (amputated meniscal root). (2) Large joint effusion with synovitis. (3) Early degenerative changes are most pronounced in the medial compartment. Should i go for surgery or not? Please advise what to do? Thank you.

  5. Hi Dr Luks, I am a 56 yr old female and I weigh 160 lbs. The results of my MRI indicate the following: 1. Full thickness radial tear at the root of the medial meniscus. 2. Moderate joint effusion with minimal synovitis. 3. Moderate patella femoral and medial tibia femoral compartment chondropathy. 4. Mild lateral tibiofemoral compartment chondropathy. Should I have surgery or not? Please give me your advice. Thank you very much.

    1. The research would say to tread lightly with these tears since the arthritis is likely to be more of an issue for you.

  6. Thank you for the informative web site, Dr.Luks. I was recently diagnosed via MRI with full-thickness tear of the medial meniscus posterior horn root ligament. All ligaments are intact. I am 58 years old, not overweight, and I have always been very active. I live in the Houston area. Do you know of any specialists in this type of injury in my area? I understand this is not a garden-variety injury. I want to determine if I am a candidate for surgical intervention.
    Thanks much

    1. Hi Nancy… I do not know anyone in the Houston area. I would start with the academic centers and call their sports medicine departments to see which providers may be able to help you.

  7. Hi Dr. Luks,
    I’m a 61 year old female (5’2 and 127lbs). My knee had been hurting on and off for 4 mos after some dancing. Then one day I ran up the stairs and felt a pop in back of knee and couldn’t put any weight on it. Was on crutches for a few days, then a cane. Now, I can walk with very little, and often no pain, sometimes with a cane for extra support. MRI shows medial meniscal posterior root tear, with full thickness avulsion with a gap of 6mm. Moderate medial extrusion of the meniscal body. Mild chondral thinning and fibrillation of the medial compartment cartilage. Mild reactive edema posterior medial tibial plateau. Intraosseous ganglion cyst of the posterior to central medial tibial plateau. Said cyst has been there for many years. Can this be managed without surgery? I’m not an athlete, but do like to walk.

  8. I currently have a root tear and my doctor has done 2 under the supervision of his mentor. How do I find someone in CT who has done many since it is such an unusual injury?

  9. Your direction would be greatly appreciated:
    MRI – Demonstrates full-thickness tear of the posterior root inserction of the medical meniscus with mild peripheral extrusion of the meniscus posteror horn.
    Fraying and blunting of the free edge of the lateral menisus body with no evidence of tear.
    Grade 3 patellofemoral chrondromalacia
    Grade 2 chondrosis in the medial and lateral tibiofemoral compartments.

  10. Dr Luks,
    I’ve been doing much research since reading my MRI results and see that you are by far the most expert in my condition.
    The MRI states “complete degenerative radial tear at the posterior root attachment of the medial meniscus with partial peripheral extrusion of the medial meniscal body”.

    I am 69 years old and are fit (workout 6 X wk). In your opinion is surgery the option for my condition?
    Do you know any expert (as you) in this type of surgical technique in the Bergen County NJ vicinity?
    Thank You

    1. I do not know of any Judi …
      some of these root tears should be repaired, others shouldn’t. Your X-ray, MRi, exam and complaints help us make that determination.

  11. I am a 73 year old workaholic that is not overwieght. I knelt on one knee and when I came up that knee, left knee, popped. I could barely get back into the house due to the pain. After doctor visit and MRI, the doctor called and said that I have an “amputated meniscus tear-severe and torn cartilege”. I was told that surgery is needed. I know there is some new gel that can be injected into the knee. Do you think I MUST have surgery or will the gel work ?

    1. Sounds like a root tear… common, and usually associated with a degenerative knee. Meaning that you usually have osteoarthritis in addition to the root tear. “must” is simply a word that shouldn’t surface often when talking about meniscus tears. These are usually quality of life decisions. As I mention … most studies show that people with arthritis and root tears tend to do OK without surgery.

  12. My recent MRI report of my knee indicated that I have a radial tear present within the medial meniscus involving the posterior horn at the root insertion along with meniscal extrusion, accompanying high-grade chondral loss throughout the medial compartment with moderate medial side osteoarthritis. Chondromalacia with high-grade chondral loss within the patellofemoral compartment with moderate osteoarthritis. I understand that they do no want to do repair surgery because of the extensive arthritis present. I currently suffer with great pain and locking posteriorly to the point at times where I cannot bend the knee and medial knee pain. Would arthroscopic removal of some of the meniscus minimize some of the pain? The surgeon initially indicated that the only way to fix it would be to receive a knee replacement due to the extreme arthritis. I do understand that a replacement may be needed in the end, but would a partial removal of the meniscus be beneficial? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Very hard to answer that without seeing you. In this situation one of three possibilities. The surgery might improve your pain, it might not change a thing… and it also stands a chance t making your symptoms worse.

  13. Doctor I thank you for your research and comments. I have a MRT to the posterior horn. I am 53, play competitive tennis and do boot camp multiple days a week. In January I felt some irritating tweetkng in the knee. I continued my activity until March when I was slipping my shoes off and I collapsed, the knee filled with blood. Following draining the blood and a cortezone shot I was doing really well. Now 5 months later I believe the cortezone shot is wearing off and I have swelling of the knee and discomfort streightening it. I have not been able to run and if I do any high impact stuff I really swell and am in pain to even walk. I am considering PRP or other injectables. What do you think? I am leary about surgery because after the tear I was on crutches favoring my left leg for about 6 days while I waited for the cortezone to start to work and I felt my other knee degenerating. Also do you know any experts in the Chicago area?

  14. Hello Dr. Luks from Naples, FL. orginally from Boston, MA. Been in Naples 3 years. I am 52 y.o. active female. Previously (2004) bi-lateral compartment release all 4 sections of calf muscles from Chronic Compartment Syndrome. 2 previously meniscus surgery on both knees (2007-2009). A month ago my left knee swelled, became painful aching, unable to bear weight going up and down stairs. However, since then my knee has become stable again but it still does swell and I have swelling above knee cap. Also, after walking on it for a couple of hours it begins to hurt. I have found an orthopedic sports med doctor, Dr. Guerra, who is supposed to be the best and does some of the sports teams in area. I didn’t asked about how many horn roots he has repaired however. His recommendation is a partial medial meniscectomy. He believes that the horn root is intact at one end of the root with some detachment and tear on the other side. He said that he does not want to touch the lateral meniscus so to keep as much cartilage as possible on that side. My major concern is the root tear which he said doesn’t have a good prognosis if it is a complete tear. I believe that he is going to try to shave any detached edges of the root and leave it. I just don’t want it to tear completely and then have to have an additional more drastic surgery in the future. Is there anything that can be done now to stabilize the root to reduce this possibility? What would you recommend under these circumstances? Thank you so much. Any suggestions will be helpful. Side note….My daughter is getting married in Jamaica on November 11th. Dr. Guerra and his PA were great about scheduling me in as soon as possible so it can heal as much as possible before wedding.

    MRI results shows….
    CONCLUSION:
    1. Partial medial meniscectomy. Recurrent tearing involving the body and posterior horn root is suspected with fragmentation and maceration of the root and inferomedial displaced flap noted long the undersurface of the body. Regions of a least intermediate grade chondromalacia involve the posterior weight bearing and posterolateral weight bearing medial femoral condyle and less so medial tibia.
    2. Horizontal trizonal cleavage flap tear extends from the anterior horn to the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus with subtle free edge and inferior articular surface communication suspected at the anterior horn-body junction.
    3. Thickened MCL for which chronic sprain is favored. Dissectiong Baker’s cyst and semimembranosus bursitis are contributory.
    4. At least intermediate grade to high grade patellorfemoral chondromalacis.

    DETAILS:
    Medial Meniscus posterior horn and body is small for which meniscectomy change is favored. Remnant tearing involves posterior horn root and less so posterior horn and body. Horizontal trizonal cleavage flap tear involves lateral meniscal body. This tear measures 3-4 cm in length and extends from the anterior horn to the posterior horn. Subtle inferior articular free edge communication is suspected at the anterior horn-body junction. Clinical correlation will be necessary to determine the significance of this finding.

    Chrondral thinning and irregularity involves the posterolateral weight bearing medial femoral condyle and less medial tibia. Posterior horn root of medial meniscus is fraying and irregular. Subtle inferior displaced flap along the undersurface of the medial meniscal body is demonstrated. Regions of recurrent tearing within the meniscus are suspected.

    1. Most medial meniscal root tears are degenerative — as such most are best treated non-operatively. If non-operative care doesn’t result in relief and arthroscopy can be considered, but the results are mixed… meaning that it might work for some (especially those with loose flaps), yet it might not work to alleviate pain/swelling. Difficult decision making.

  15. Thank you for your reply. It is a difficult decision especially with a wedding coming up. As a side note and another consideration is that I have hereditary hemachromatosis which can produce crystals within the joint and cause damage. Dr. said that he would be able to see if there is any of this during surgery. I’m thinking that I should go ahead with it and let he get a better look inside joint to rule out any other issues plus it hopefully will help and I won’t have any instability issues and it will be healed before wedding. With my luck, if I don’t have it, my knee will probably buckle the day before or day of wedding. One final question…Is there blood supply in the root so that it can regenerate? I read that there are parts of the meniscus with blood supply thus they can heal? Sorry…that’s actual 2 questions. Thank you again.

  16. Hello Dr. Luks,
    I just turned 60 and have been diagnosed with subacute minimally depressed medial tibial plateau subchondral fracture, and a partial thickness tear at root of posterior horn of the medial meniscus and have severe chondromalacia in the patellofemoral and medial compartments.
    I am a travel agent and walk all the time in Europe (uneven streets) and the U.S .as part of my job
    My Dr. tried a cortisone shot before my last trip and it did nothing. She says I do not need surgery. I now walk with a partial limp. She gave me a prescription for Naproxen.
    I have been strength training for over 20 years and love to walk. Am I doomed to limp in pain? I love to be active and am afraid walking will increase my injuries. My Dr. said I can try some type of Cocks Comb injections (3 of them) but doesn’t think they will help. I have Kaiser as a health provider and am not sure if I need to go outside my network. (I live in Atlanta) Any advise is greatly appreciated. Andrea

    1. The subchondral (stress) fracture is what’s bothering you. Injections won’t help that. Operating on that type of meniscus tear in this setting would be a mistake. You need to take the pressure off your leg until the edema (inflammation) from the fracture subsides…. This combination of issues – Root tear, stress fracture and arthritis are very common and many people will recover to a reasonable and functional level of activity within a few months. Like and “fracture” it takes time to heal.

  17. Hi Dr. Luks,
    Thanks for your recent post about “Root Tears of Medial Meniscus.”
    My mother is 55 years old, she has pain in her right knee. MRI report and conclusion says
    Mild joint effusion is seen.
    ACL sprain at proximal portion is seen but PCL appear normal in shape and signal intensity.
    Root tearing of posterior horn of medial meniscus seen but lateral meniscus appear normal.
    MCL sprain grade 1 is seen but LCL appear normal in shape and signal intensity.
    Bone bruising in medial aspect of tibial plateau is seen.
    Should she go for surgery or not? Please advise what to do?
    Thank you very much

    1. Surgery is not usually recommended for root tears in the presence of arthritic changes. Let the pain from the bone bruise subside (stress reaction from the tear) — that’s usually what hurts most and it may take a few months.

  18. Hello Dr Luks,
    Last November I underwent a root repair after I tore my medial meniscus playing basketball. I am 60 years old and before my injury was running twice a week, playing basketball twice a week, and playing tennis once a week, and was injury free. Last month I had an MRI because in the months since the surgery I have not been able to run without a limp and I have experienced pain (only when running), and some instability in the knee. The MRI disclosed a cartilage lesion and a “failed root repair”. Apparently I do not have any type of significant arthritis in my knee. I’m wondering if I would be a candidate for a partial knee replacement to solve these two problems? Thank you.

    1. So… the cartilage lesion might be an arthritic lesion (it commonly is). Many medial root repairs performed in the presence of any degenerative changes will fail. A partial knee replacement is an option for those with significant daily pain with walking, etc. It should NOT be considered a viable alternative if your desire it to return to running and basketball. That’s a lot of force on that small prosthesis.

  19. I have a friend who has a medial meniscal root tear posteriorly, in his right knee. We are in the Boston area. Do you know of any orthopedists who are versed with meniscal root repairs? Would it be advisable to look at New England Baptist Hospital or MGH? Otherwise, his primary orthopedist is considering a unicondylar knee replacement procedure.

    1. Most root tears occur in the presence of a degenerative or arthritic knee. Often times the severe pain that occurs at the time of the tear settles down over the next 8-12 weeks. Most of these medial root tears do not need to be fixed because of the co-existing osteoarthritis.

  20. I am a 58 yr male that had medial meniscus repair on left knee in 2014. I started running 26 miles a week as New Years resolution in 2015 and lost 60 pounds and have continued 4 miles x 6 days until several weeks ago with similar right knee pain. MRI resulted in medial meniscus root tear and scheduled for surgery Dec 5. I never thought to ask how many the same that I would never ask any other medical specialty professional. My concern is what I am reading regarding rehabilitation. I am not for crutches at all. I walked (hopped around) 3-4 hrs after my 2014 surgery I don’t have much patience and will reject the notion of no walking more than 1 or 2 days max. This 4-6 weeks stuff is unimaginable for me…not going to happen. That is my only hangup. Can you please tell me your recommended after surgery detail?

    1. HI Rob …
      Only a few medial root tears need surgery. If we do repair them it is important to be on crutches to allow them to heal properly. Some meniscal repairs (suturing back together) do not require crutches, but radial tear and root tear repairs do.
      Good Luck

  21. Dear Dr. Luks, Scheduled for surgery next week. Now after reading your article I am thinking that I need to meet with my doctor and look at other options. Please let me know what you think. Findings: peripheral 3rd vertical tear at the anterior horn insertion of the medial meniscus with adjacent septated parameniscal cyst. (Will not include all details of size of cyst) – There is tricompartmental osteoarthritis manifested by marginal osteophytes and cartilage abnormalities identified at the patellofemoral compartment. Thank you and God bless you!

  22. Good day Dr. L. Less than a week ago, an MRI revealed a complex posterior root attachment medial meniscus tear in my R knee. In the data above, you stated, “If the root of the meniscus is torn, then the entire meniscus becomes non-functional. The meniscus needs to be well anchored to the tibia in order to function as a shock absorber.” Then you later stated, “The body of evidence about the treatment of root tears of the meniscus is growing. Three questions…1. If the entire meniscus is non-functional, what does that do to your quality of life? I enjoy hiking. With this tear, if I don’t have surgery, would I ever be able hike again. 2. When you state the body of evidence about treatment is growing, how so? 3. I reside in Fredericksburg VA. Do you have any recommendations regarding Doctors in this area, Richmond VA, or northern VA? Thank you.

    1. Right… in the perfect knee with no evidence of arthritis, then fixing a root tear is advisable. In majority with medial root tears, significant arthritis is also present. Repairing tears in that setting doesn’t treat the arthritis, and the repairs frequently fail. It’s a difficult problem.
      Dr Jeff Berg is a quality doc.

      1. Tx Dr L for the insightful expeditious response. One additional question…since the MRI report stated osteoarthritis in my knee, and since you said if arthritis is present, that the repairs frequently fail, what options does a person like me have, who prior to this recent tear was quite active, enjoying mountain climbing, hiking, etc., to be able to enagage in these activities once again? I am 67.5 years young. Thank you.

      2. Dr L, cannot see the Doc until 6 Dec. Since MRI that revealed the complex posterior root attachment medial meniscus tear, I’ve been icing the knee in AM and PM, elevating it when I can, and taking 800mg Motrin every 8 hrs. Prior to my forthcoming appointment, would it be OK to use a recumbent bike for 30 mins daily, and do light leg presses every other day? Thank you.

  23. Dr. Luks,

    Am I possibly a candidate for a repair? 45 yo male, physician, motorcycle accident 6 months ago. Fractured my right tibial plateau. It was repaired with plates and screws, After 6 weeks of being braced, I began PT and progressed to 115 degrees of knee flexion where I stopped. A MRI showed a medial meniscus extrusion despite the interference from the metal. My hope is that a surgeon can repair this and get me more flexion. I am an avid runner and cyclist and want to do whatever I can to maximize my recovery.
    I am in PA and my surgery was performed in Pittsburgh. I am also close to the Cleveland Clinic. Do you have any referrals of doctors in this area.
    Thank you,
    Eric

    1. Hi Eric..
      Root tears of the medial meniscus are often degenerative in nature. Those we tend to treat without surgery.
      Root tears that are not associated with OA, and felt to be traumatic can be repaired. A meniscal root repair may not improve your flexion if it is due to arthrofibrosis from the trauma which led to your fracture. Chris Harner in Pittsburgh is worth seeing. I do not know anyone personally in Cleveland. Good Luck

  24. Thank you for the information Dr. Luke. I checked and Dr. Hunter has moved on to Texas. I am going to try to get a consult at the Cleveland clinic as well as one in Pittsburgh. My concern is that the doctors I speak with me not be familiar with or interested in salvaging my meniscus. Do you do any consultations over the phone if diagnostics are sent to you?

    Thank you,
    Dr. Eric Christie

    1. Eric… There are many of us who are capable of fixing this out there. I do speak with people over the phone/skype — but can not offer formal medical opinions.
      Email me at hluks@uopc.org if interested.

  25. Im a PT with a few questions regarding post op “protocol” My 56 yo sister has been found to have a root tear (medial and lateral) and it has been suggested that she have a root repair. However, she has a failed TKA on the contralateral side (3 knee replacements in that knee in 3 years severe probs with chronic pain…..flexion 35/ extension -10). If the standard of care is NWB for perhaps 6 weeks….how would you suggest that occur. her contralateral knee quad strength is 2/5, buckles constantly…Im thinking primarily Wheelchair. Am I thinking correctly? She additionally is a single parent (widowed last year) and therefore single income teacher. The MD who saw her says she needs to have this done immediately or risk arthritis…but she is a teacher and can only do NWB for 6 weeks in the summer (her school is an old building and not handicapped accessible)…what is the risk of waiting the 4-5 mos?

  26. 1.Degeneration and tearing of the posterior horn and body
    of the medial meniscus including full-thickness or nearly
    full-thickness radial tearing of the posterior horn at its
    central attachment.
    2.Mild free edge truncation/blunting of the body of the
    lateral meniscus.
    Small joint effusion.
    3.Tricompartmental osteophytic spurring with chondromalacia
    appearing most advanced involving the patella.
    4.Stress reaction without stress fracture involving the
    posteromesial aspect of the medial tibial plateau.

    1. Classic MRI findings for a degenerative medial root tear. They usually occur in the setting of an arthritic or degenerative knee. The stress reaction is usually what hurts the most. Cane, crutches or a walker usually necessary to help get the pressure of the bone for a few weeks so the pain calms down. Vast majority of these are treated without surgery.
      Good Luck

  27. In Oct 2016 I was diagnosed with a horizontal tear to the inferior articular within the posterior horn of maternal meniscus.I had surgery and have never recover and I am still in severe pain. In Jan 2017 I had a complex tear involving the posterior root and horn of the medial meniscus with large fluid filled defect and radial tear along the medial meniscus..3.5mm of peripheral extrusion. Frayed inferior meniscocapsular ligament. 11 X 21 mm subchondrial sclerosis and subchondral fracture along the medial femoral condyle. High grade partial thickness tear at the proximal origin of the medial collateral ligament. Could you please simplify this for me.Especially a subchondrial fx. and why would this happen when I had surgery.. Thank you for any help you can give me

    1. The subchondral fracture can be thought of as a stress fracture. When you have a meniscus tear, and you also have some arthritis, the bones around the knee see more stress due to the loss of cushioning. Over time that will cause a stress reaction (bone marrow edema) or it can progress to a stress fracture. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon after a meniscus tear develops in a degenerative knee .. or after meniscus surgery.

  28. Great informative article, but doesn’t sound like there is much hope for a meniscus root tear to heal. I’ve had mine for six weeks and there is pain every day! Can a person get a total knee replacement to take care of the problem? Thanks

    1. Most of these tears occur in the setting of an arthritic knee. A knee replacement is the ultimate treatment for painful arthritis that does not respond to any other treatments. This is something you should review with your Orthopedist

  29. Here is my MRI results, I’m getting two different option’s, what would your do?
    There is a vertical tear near the posterior root medial meniscus with meniscal subluxation. Hyaline cartilage thinning and mild subchondral edema in the medial compartment.
    2. Mild edema associated with intact MCL which may be due to recent or chronic strain.
    3. Distal quadriceps and proximal infrapatellar tendinopathy.
    4. Joint effusion and mild periarticular edema. Small Baker’s cyst.

    1. Very few sports docs would operate on that… The scientific literature and sports medicine community would support non-surgical management. The edema in the bone (swelling of the bone due to stress) is likely what it bothering you. Surgery for the meniscus tear could actually make that pain worse. These root tears occur in an arthritic of degenerative knee. In most cases within 6 weeks you are starting to feel better.

  30. Dr. Luks,
    I am Mangesh Bhagwat, India, Amravati, I am 48 year old, working as a Lawyer,
    recently to lower down my weight which is 73 kg and to lower LIPID level, I started running for about 4-5 K.M and that i have done about for 10 days with cycling and trekking in jungle, but after some days it have started pain in Right knee, for which my Orthopedic Doctor suggested me MRI of 1.5 T power, which I have done before 1 Week, I have sown MRI to Orthopedic Surgeon at Nagpur, both are well qualified but both suggested me root surgery,
    MRI report says that,
    Early Changes of medial femorotibial osteoarthrosis
    Radial tear of posterior horn of medial meniscus also involving its roots attachment with mild extrusion of the body segment into the medial gutter.
    Pl. suggest, whether surgery is best option or conservative treatment. I dont’t want to go for surgery.

    1. This is a very common picture or presentation in an early arthritic knee. We often see these degenerative root tears in the setting of osteoarthritis. Surgery is generally not recommended, or successful once there is extrusion associated with arthritic changes. We usually start treatment with physio, a compression sleeve, and we give the knee 6-8 weeks to see if it improves. It might be better to consider non-impact forms of exercise too — such as a rowing machine, swimming or an elliptical trainer.

  31. Hello Doctor Luks,
    I am 55 years old and scheduled for surgery next week. I have a tear of the posterior root of the medial meniscus with associated Meniscal extrusion and degenerative signal extending into the posterior horn and body. Degenerative signal within the anterior root of the lateral meniscus without a discrete tear. Mucoid degeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament and minimal early medial and patellofemoral compartment. I was carrying something heavy when I felt a pop and snap 8 weeks ago. I was on crutches for 3 weeks and felt a little better but once I started walking again the severe pain came back gradually. My Orthopedist is going in to clean it up and if needed perform the root repair based on what he sees. He does about one root repair a month. Is this enough experience? Could this heal if I continue to wait? I just want to get back to normal activity which includes walking 3-4 miles about every other day. I would appreciate your recommendation. Thank you

    1. Root tears will not heal by themselves. However, root repairs, when there is also arthritis present in the knee joint dramatically diminishes the success rate of surgery. Unless a repair is going to be performed, there is no need to consider a “clean out”. Many of these tears are treated without surgery if arthritis is present- because the research shows that time and PT can frequently results in the same degree of improvement. So… if there is minimal or no arthritis a repair is possible and can be considered. If there is significant arthritic change then the repair will likely fail. It can be a tough call. IF your surgeon does one root repair a month, then they are doing more than many orthopedic surgeons.

      1. Sounds like 90% of the Root tears, where as our ortho Dr suggest repair vs rehab, conflicts with your opinion, which convinces me to not have surgery….
        My MRI: Complex Root tear involving the Posterior hrn of medial meniscus which extends to the Posterior Root attachment. 2mm peripheral extrusion of medial meniscus body. Oblique tear involving the inner free margin of Post horn.. bakers cycst , ruptured at one point, fluid… Full thickness articular cart loss involving Medial femoral condyle, large region of full thickness cart loss involving medial tibial platuea… alot of other stuff going on, just to much to transpose from Report…. basically, My knee hurts…..lol….

  32. Dr Dr Luks. I’m female 70, took a fall about six months ago and broke my shoulder. my knees were bruised. Slowly the pain in my right knee has been getting to be more and more of a problem. MRI shows a tear at the root on the inside of my knee. I have a slight narrowing of the space …one doc says mild osteo and another says moderate. I’m going to take your advice and find someone who has done this kind of surgery plenty! Do you know of anyone in the Eugene Oregon area? We are Track Town USA and lots of sport happens here so I’m guessing there might be someone! Thank you.

    1. good luck to you…. hopefully you can find someone who can speak to the advantages / disadvantages of a medial meniscus root repair in your case.

      Howard Luks

  33. Hi Doctor Lux, I am a very fit woman in my late 5O’s In great shape and was diagnosed with a complex tearing of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus with tear extensions to both superior and inferior surfaces. I was not impressed with the doctor today and choice 6 weeks of physical therapy before I decide to have surgery. I am impressed with you and your opinion:) I work out 5 times a week and was doing a forward lunge with a 40 pound bar when my Knee popped 5 weeks ago. Of course I have not worked out since and am doing rice, muscle stim, low level laser and minimal stretching until further notice. I am also going to try acupuncture.

  34. Is platelet rich plasma a viable non surgical option
    Or is this junk science? MRI States focal complex tear of posterior
    Horn medial meniscus near the root. Mild medial patellofemoral compartment osteo arthritis. Have tried physical therapy and steroid injection.

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