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Acl tear vs.a meniscus tear which is worse ? which is worse an acl tear or a meniscus tear ? what is the difference in recovery time after surgery and pain after ?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Monica Wood
Hand Surgery 29 years experience
It : It is difficult to say which is "worse." it depends on what you mean by it. An acl tear can cause buckling of the knee on stairs or during side-to-side action in athletics. A meniscal tear can cause catching and locking of the knee. Both can be painful. Both can predispose the knee to later arthritis. If you're over 60, a meniscal tear can be a normal part of aging. On the other hand, some people can use their muscles to compensate for an acl tear. What we do know it that they are worse in combination. The instability from the acl tear can cause more damage to the torn meniscus and accelerate wear in the knee. Acl reconstruction usually has a prolonged recovery period with intense physical therapy to prevent a stiff knee. Meniscal tear surgery usually has a less intense recovery period. Most adults have to have the loose, torn portions removed. The recovery afterwards is based on pain and swelling. However, in young athletes, who can have meniscal repairs, the recovery may be similar to acl reconstruction.
Dr. Bradley Butkovich
Orthopedic Surgery 28 years experience
An ACL tear is: Typically worse than a meniscus tear and often they occur together. Acl surgery requires reconstruction of the cruciate ligament using a harvested graft from your patellar tendon or your hamstring most commonly. Recovery can be upwards of 6-8 months. Meniscus tears require brief outpatient surgery to trim out the torn portion and recovery is 4-6 weeks.

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Last updated Mar 29, 2018


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