One of the fears many patients have about a meniscus tear is that they won’t be able to return to sports after surgery for a meniscus tear. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss signs that surgery could be needed, what the long-term consequences of that meniscus surgery are and more.

Sumair asks:
I have pain in my left knee. Doctors told me I have a meniscus tear. He prefers for me to surgery, but I don’t think I have much pain in my knee. I am a national footballer of Pakistan. If I have surgery on my knee, will I be able to play football again?

Meniscus tears do not generally heal on their own. That fact alone does not mean you have to have surgery. If you have pain from the meniscus tear, and non-surgical treatments are failing to provide relief, surgery to either trim out the tear or sew it together can be good options.

Illustration showing the different types of surgery for a meniscus tear

The goal of any surgery, including surgery for a meniscus tear, is to help you return to what you love to do. If you want to return to sports, you usually can. There is some concern when a large amount of meniscus must be removed that you can develop arthritis changes years later. That is less of a concern with a meniscus repair, but return to sports tends to take much longer.

Also read:
When can you return to work after meniscus surgery?
How can you bend your knee after meniscus surgery?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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