Partial knee menisectomy is a very common surgery that involves removing the torn part of the meniscus. The meniscus is a natural shock absorber for the knee. In fact, in America alone, we perform about 700,000 of these surgeries per year, making it one of the most common orthopedic surgeries. While most patients think they’re getting a meniscus repair procedure, the truth is, 96% of these surgeries just remove a piece of the shock absorber, leaving your knee less protected.
There have been many high-quality research studies over the past decade or more that were designed to answer the specific question, “Is surgery necessary for a torn meniscus?” What did they show? All three large studies showed that meniscus surgery was not effective or no better than just physical therapy.
We offer innovative non-surgical procedures that may help decrease pain and improve knee function and mobility without the need for surgery.
Meniscus surgery is traumatic and carries associated risks. Even successful surgeries require months of painful rehab to regain strength and mobility. After surgery, most patients will be on crutches, wear a brace, or some combination of both for several weeks before returning back to normal activity. The recovery time and rehabilitation period may be extended up to six weeks with a knee brace or crutches.
Keep in mind that there may even be some complications associated with meniscus surgery, prolonging the recovery period even more. This includes complications with anesthesia, such as respiratory or cardiac malfunction, infections, and injury to nerves and blood vessels, fracture, weakness, stiffness or instability of the joint, inability to repair the meniscus, repeated rupture of the meniscus, or the need for additional surgeries.
Can you ever truly recover from parts of your knee meniscus being removed surgically? In the long run, almost all meniscus surgeries accelerate degeneration that leads to osteoarthritis and exacerbate the biomechanical problems that initially led to the need for the surgery.
Meniscus tears are like wrinkles; they are unavoidable. Some of us get more of them at a young age and some of us don’t get a lot of them until we’re older. The meniscus gets small tears as we age and as the knee joint begins to wear out. For example, in middle-aged and elderly patients, taking an MRI of patients with no knee pain and those with ongoing knee pain will reveal that both groups have about the same amount of meniscus tears. If these things usually don’t cause pain, why are we operating on them? If our surgeries are no better than fake surgeries, why are we placing all of these patients at the risk of surgical complications?
Recent research shows that some of the most popular orthopedic knee surgeries, including meniscectomies, have no benefit and are not more effective than placebo or sham surgery. But can a meniscus tear heal on its own when left untreated? Non-surgical treatments for meniscus tears for healing on their own include physical therapy, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Interventional orthopedics also provides a non-surgical injection alternative that may prove beneficial in reducing pain and improving function.
Have you been told that invasive surgery is your only option to fix your torn ACL? Getting your ACL replaced permanently alters the mechanics of the knee joint. You have other options when it comes to treating your ACL injury. In fact, about 70% of all ACL tears that currently get surgery could have been treated with a precise injection.
Your body is built to repair itself and our goal is to save your ACL, not replace it. We offer a non-surgical alternative for ACL tears that requires advanced injection skills using X-ray guidance, which may aide the healing of your ACL tear, while reducing pain and increasing function.
Dr. Cohen is a board-certified specialist in both Family and Sports Medicine. For the first 11 years of his medical career he was contracted by the Department of Defense to manage and direct the Sports Medicine & Reconditioning program for all of the Marine Corps recruits in the western United States as well as to serve as a special consultant for the Navy SEALs.
He has had extensive experience and training in managing difficult injuries and chronic conditions and has been a licensed Regenexx affiliate since undergoing advanced regenerative orthopedics training with the Regenexx founders in 2013.
He is excited to be able to provide the Advanced Regenexx Procedures to patients from his San Diego location.
Dr. Cohen has had a distinguished career in medicine and has been recognized by his peers as an outstanding clinician, winning several distinguished awards, including the prestigious Master Clinician award as well as being appointed as Assistant Clinical Professor (voluntary) at UCSD School of Medicine.
Dr. Cohen is a dedicated physician and passionate family man who is also an avid golfer, fisherman and triathlete.
Areas treated: Elbow, Foot & Ankle, Hand & Wrist, Hip, Knee, Shoulder
Dr. Costanzo is a board-certified Anesthesiologist with sub-specialty fellowship training in Pain Medicine. She has extensive experience and training in managing chronic pain conditions, and previously worked with Dr. Cohen as a Regenexx® affiliate from 2014-2015. She is excited to be able to provide the Regenexx® Procedures to patients from this San Diego location.
Dr. Costanzo has had a distinguished career in medicine and has been recognized by her peers as an outstanding physician. She completed her Pain Medicine fellowship at Harvard Medical School affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she was the Longwood Fellow.
She is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and has been awarded the prestigious Associate Master Clinician award.
Dr. Costanzo is a dedicated physician and extremely passionate about whole person wellness. She is a certified Level 3 ESSENTRICS® instructor and teaches weekly exercise classes. She is very excited to work with Dr. Cohen again and serve the San Diego community.
Areas treated: Cervical Spine (except CCI), Lumbar Spine
11230 Sorrento Valley Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121
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*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.
Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.