Knee pain 1 year after meniscus surgery

Knee pain 1 year after meniscus surgery

Knee pain 1 year after meniscus surgery 

Many people experience knee pain, popping or cracking, or swelling following their meniscus surgery.

Knee pain in general and knee awareness improved most 1 year after meniscal surgery. The meniscus is a cushion of tissue that protects the cartilage in the knee joint. It rests between the upper and lower leg bones where they meet to form the knee joint. The meniscus can become torn due to wear and tear, most commonly, or trauma due to an injury.

Surgeons love to operate on the meniscus and do so to the tune of about 700,000 surgeries a year. We have some research already that shows that meniscectomy isn’t good for your knee cartilage. For example, check out this study that demonstrated that meniscus surgery likely increases the onset of arthritis.


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 Why would this happen?

A meniscectomy, which accounts for over 95% of meniscus surgeries, involves excising, or removing, pieces of the meniscus. A surgeon will access the knee joint (via an open incision or an arthroscope) and cut out the torn piece of meniscus. Knowing the meniscus is there to protect the cartilage, it’s easy to understand why slicing out pieces of it could leave the cartilage vulnerable and potentially lead to arthritis.

It’s important to understand that just because your MRI shows a meniscus tear, this doesn’t mean you need surgery, especially in middle-aged or elderly patients. Watch my video below to get a more in-depth understanding of this: The purpose of the new study was to investigate how meniscectomy affected the knee structure long term. The study consisted of 57 patients, each having received an arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (for traumatic or degenerative meniscus tears) within a period of 5 to 12 years (8 years average) prior. Using radiology images both before and in the years following meniscectomy, researchers studied the meniscectomy knee and compared it to the opposite knee that did not undergo surgery.

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What are the results?

Nearly 63% of knee meniscus surgery patients developed knee arthritis in the meniscectomy knee within 8 years, on average, following surgery. Compare this to the opposite knee that was not operated on: 28% developed arthritis in that same time period. A few other interesting findings included knee arthritis in the medial compartment of the knee in males that was just under 9% prior to surgery and climbed to nearly 59% during the study period (females went from 26% to 73%). For obese patients, 18% had medial knee arthritis prior to meniscus surgery while a whopping 100% had it in the years following.

Finally, in patients who had degenerative meniscus tears (tears due to wear and tear), 10% had medial knee arthritis prior to surgery while just under 67% had knee arthritis after. In patients with traumatic meniscus tears (injury related), 21% had medial knee arthritis prior to surgery while 63% had knee arthritis after.

Knee after Meniscus Surgery

Another reason for knee pain 1 year after meniscus surgery is new-onset arthritis. As per the research, the knee is more susceptible to arthritis after meniscus surgery. The researchers looked at structural changes on knee MRIs over an 18-month period after surgery. The results? In the knee meniscus surgery group, 60% (compared to 33% in the physical therapy group) had damage to the cartilage and more-advanced bone spurs. The conclusion, meniscus surgery is causing more arthritis.

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What you should do if you are in pain?

First, don’t get another meniscus surgery! Second, consider new orthobiologic treatments rather than more surgery. Platelet-rich plasma has been shown to be effective in many different high-level clinical trials.

Meniscus surgery where the doctor yanks the torn piece out is not a good idea. In fact, it causes more and not less arthritis. If you find yourself in this bad spot, don’t get more surgery. Find a Regenexx physician to see if we can help you make your next move.


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10 common questions about Knee pain 1 year after meniscus surgery

1Why does my knee hurt months after meniscus surgery?
That means that not all meniscus tears hurt. ... Other reasons for knee pain after meniscus surgery is the fact that there is a retained piece or maybe the tear was fixed and the sutures have not held and the repair failed. So, there are many reasons why you may still have pain following surgery for a meniscus tear.
2Can you tear your meniscus again after surgery?
When the repair of the meniscus is not possible, the torn area is removed through the scope during surgery. Because the meniscus does not have to heal immediate weightbearing is allowed. Running and jogging is typically allowed after 2-4 weeks and sports shortly after.
3Does arthritis cause a meniscus tear?
Degenerative meniscal tears are often associated with arthritis (degenerative joint disease). If the degenerative meniscal tear causes catching or locking in the knee, often times a torn fragment of the meniscus must be removed surgically
4What can I expect after arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus?
Following surgery, there is a recovery time of up to two weeks to allow time for frequent physical therapy and appropriate treating of the knee to ensure a quick return to normal activity. As part of physical therapy, patients will be taught exercises, in addition to having guided therapy
5Why is my knee still swollen after meniscus surgery?
Knee Swelling after Meniscus Surgery Swelling is an indicator of inflammation, which is part of the normal healing process after surgeries such as a meniscus repair. It can sometimes persist for a few weeks following meniscal surgery
6Why does my knee keep popping after meniscus surgery?
Knee popping may also occur after a ligament tear, since the knee joint won't be moving normally due to the injury. Meniscus Tear - A tear in the cartilage of the knee may also cause a popping noise. ... Since the meniscus cushions the knee joint, a tear may cause the knee to make the popping noise.
7Is walking good for torn meniscus?
Unless the torn meniscus has locked the knee, many people with a torn meniscus can walk, stand, sit, and sleep without pain. Other people find that the torn meniscus prevents them from participating comfortably in their usual daily activities
8Will a knee brace help a torn meniscus?
Wearing a rehabilitative knee brace will help the user recover from a torn meniscus by providing stability to the joint and preventing the wearer from aggravating the injury even further. Knee braces with hinges on either side of the knee offer protection and prevent that wobbly feeling you may get after a knee injury
9What causes repeated meniscus tears?
The constant rubbing of the torn meniscus on the articular cartilage may cause wear and tear on the surface, leading to degeneration of the joint. This happens more often in unstable type tears. The are 3 common causes of symptoms of recurrent pain and swelling the knee.
10What happens if a meniscus tear is left untreated?
Left untreated, a meniscus tear can cause even more damage, hasten the onset of osteoarthritis, and lead to a myriad of other undesirable symptoms. Treatment for a torn meniscus often begins conservatively. Your doctor may recommend rest, ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, or physical therapy.



  1. Toni says:

    I had partial meniscus surgery on my left knee in November 2019, and my knee is worse and hurts 24/7 I had arthritis in it before surgery and it keeps me up at night, can’t sleep, can’t walk normal. I’m in tears today. It’s wearing on me. I’m a 57 year old woman, and do have fibromyalgia and bad arthritis. But my knee hurts all the time, and using a cane today and am in tears. What do I do?

    • Iranian Surgery Adviser says:

      hello dear toni, would you please send your medical documents to whatsApp to show our doctors and keep you informed. this is my whatsApp number +989019290946. thank you

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