It is common for adults in their 50s and 60s to have degenerative meniscus tears of the knee along with arthritis changes in that knee. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain why orthopaedic surgeons often do not proceed with surgery for a meniscus tear like we do with younger patients.

Manny in California asks:
I am a 77 year old male with dancing as my main sport plus some activity in the gym. Almost three months ago some small pains developed in the right knee mostly on the lateral and rear, mostly with flexion. Extending the knee usually causes a click. An MRI showed a horizontal cleavage tear with 10-13 mm cyst and grade 2-3 patellar chondrosis. I’ve seen two orthopedic surgeons who have different views on whether I should have surgery now or wait. I can’t decide. Almost minimal symptoms. They say it’s nonrepairable. No surgery could cause tear to worsen though. What are your views?

In the past, orthopaedic surgeons often performed arthroscopic debridements to clean up degenerative meniscus tears and arthritis of the knee. The long-term results of those surgeries have not proven as successful as we might have hoped. There are patients for whom surgery to trim out a meniscus tear can be helpful, though. In this video, I discuss the pros and cons of the surgery for a meniscus tear and offer some points to consider.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Failure of meniscus repairs
Ask Dr. Geier: Swelling and stiffness after meniscus surgery

Do you need surgery for a meniscus tear?
Arthroscopic image of a meniscus tear in the knee

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