Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus. 

Each of your knees has two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone.  The medial meniscus sits on the inside of the knee and the lateral meniscus sits on the outside of the knee. 

A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness.  You also might feel a block to knee motion and have trouble extending your knee fully. 

Torn Meniscus Treatment

The torn meniscus treatment will depend on its size, type, and where it is located in the cartilage.  Initial treatment normally consists of rest, NSAIDs, and physical therapy.  If these conservative treatments fail, patients are faced with surgery depending on the location of the tear.  If you are young enough and the tear is on the outer third of the meniscus, which has good blood flow, arthroscopic surgery can potentially stitch it back together to heal.  If you are too old or the tear is on the inner two thirds of the meniscus, which has little to no blood flow, it is likely the meniscus will have to be removed.  A third option, regardless of age or the tear location, is a single treatment of Orthowave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy, the FDA approved non-invasive alternative to surgery for numerous orthopedic injuries.  

OrthoWave® Torn Meniscus Treatment

If you answer yes, then OrthoWave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy may be for you
  • Is the torn meniscus pain reducing your quality of life?
  • Have conservative treatments with your doctor failed?
  • Would you like to avoid the risks and downtime of surgery?
  • Are you looking for a non-invasive treatment that works?
The energy delivered to an injury by HeSWT has numerous biological effects on bones, tendons and other soft tissue.
  • Breaks down scar tissue and calcifications
  • Increases blood flow through vascular growth
  • Immediately decreases pain with analgesic effects
  • Initiates your body’s natural healing process in the meniscus, including the upregulation of growth factors and other healing factors, for long-term relief
HeSWT has been studied and used extensively for over 20 years.
  • There are hundreds of studies proving the safety and efficacy of OrthoWave HeSWT for orthopedic injuries
  • No serious nor long-term complication has ever been observed
  • Fully FDA approved, Class 3, medical device
  • OrthoWave® is true HeSWT; with Sonex, you know you are getting the best.
OrthoWave® is a non-invasive treatment completed in office.
  • Only a single 40 min treatment is required to end the pain
  • Prior to treatment, a local anesthetic is often administered to numb the treatment site
  • You are positioned in an exam chair, ultrasound gel applied, and the HeSWT treatment head placed precisely against the injury site
  • 3000 to 4000 shockwaves are delivered at a specific frequency/energy level while ensuring your comfort
  • Post treatment instructions are provided and you are able to leave immediately
OrthoWave® is completely non-invasive so there is no lengthy recovery period, time off from work, nor risk of complications like invasive surgery.
  • High-impact activities need to be avoided for 30 days but no restrictions on routine activities (work, shopping, etc)
  • Braces, casts, crutches, etc, are not required
  • Most patients see a significant decrease in pain immediately
  • Greatest improvement realized over first 30 days but healing continues for several months
  • Waiting 30 days is often hardest part as the injury quickly feels good for the first time in a long time…just give it some time to fully heal
Shockwave Therapy is an effective non-surgical treatment for numerous injuries. Please contact us to learn more about Shockwave Therapy, the injuries we treat, if you are a candidate, and how we can help get you back to life pain free.

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Torn Meniscus FAQ's

Left untreated, a meniscus tear may become worse by tearing more, which increases pain and lack of function. Ignoring a meniscus tear also puts you at greater risk for osteoarthritis.

Pain is usually worsened with squatting or twisting the injured knee. Routine walking does not normally make your meniscus tear worse. Standing, sitting, or sleeping also do not worsen the meniscus tear. However, too much sitting or not walking can reduce the strength of your leg which may increase your recovery time.

It is possible to climb stairs with a torn meniscus. However, pain is usually worsened when you go up and down stairs and has the potential to increase wear, tearing, and degeneration.

Recovery is dependent on the tear. If the tear is present on the outer third of your meniscus, it is possible for it to heal on its own or be repaired with surgery or High-energy Shockwave Therapy. If the tear is in the inner two thirds, it cannot be repaired with surgery, only trimmed or removed. However, High-energy Shockwave Therapy is still an option for damage to the inner portions of the meniscus.

The healing time depends on the severity of the tear and the treatment you receive. Minor tears may be healed with conservative treatments while more severe tears may require surgery or High-energy Shockwave Therapy. Healing time also varies from person on person and is dependent on age and other factors. Usually, a meniscus tear has a 4-8 week recovery time without surgery, 1 to 6 months with surgery, and 1 month with High-energy Shockwave Therapy.