Sometimes you cannot ignore a meniscus injury
I more view arthritis and meniscus injuries separately.
I read that of people 70 years old about 30% have had a torn meniscus injury. Most don't know that they have had a torn meniscus. Many meniscus injuries apparently don't seriously affecting knee function.
Recently a friend of mine hurt his knee and was examined. I interpreted this to mean that an injured area of the meniscus was out of place and stopped him from playing tennis. He had a torn meniscus and serious arthritis, with say 5-10% of the area of the articular cartilage worn through to the bone. The Dr said that if he had the operation he would need a second surgery in very few years with the time shortened if he played tennis, that is, another surgery expected in maybe 3 years. He had the operation last year, did OK, and returned to tennis. However, since the first surgery he has required surgery on the other knee with similar arthritis and meniscus issues. He is bow-legged and that is a contributing factor.
If a meniscus tear over a short time stopped me from playing tennis or otherwise using my knee, arthritis or not, I would give it a few months to heal/remodel. If it did not heal I would probably get surgery.
I had a meniscus injury in 1999 and gave it 4 months to heal. It did not heal and I had surgery. Good result. I had another meniscus injury 2011 on the other knee and gave it 3 months to heal/remodel? and it did. No surgery. Good result. The degree of arthritis in my knee joints is not bad with good cartilage separation maintained in both knees.
An important point - there is some risk especially of blood clots after surgery. Some of my friends have had bad experiences after meniscus surgery. The incidence of post surgery problems is something to research and understand.
If I had serious arthritis and I got a meniscus tear that reduced my knee function even after some months of rest I would consider the surgery to be a big improvement. If my knee recovered function with some months rest - the torn meniscus was no longer affecting function - I would try to avoid the surgery.
Last edited by Chas Tennis; 07-14-2013 at 04:53 PM.