24 female, mri: medial meniscus tear (i've had for 10yrs) mild chondromalacia. Knees ache most when seated. Could strengthening/pt substitute surgery?

Absolutely. Nonoperative treatments like strengthening and therapy are always the first choice before surgery. When you have given these a real effort, and are still bothered by your complaints, then the only real option to get better may be to have the 20 min scope procedure and move on. Give it an honest try and then decide if surgery is right for you.

Related Questions

What can be done if a knee MRI comes back negative but the patient is still having problems? Can a MRI miss a medial meniscus tear? Please explain

Yes. Yes it can miss about 8-10% of the meniscal lesions, as well chondral lesions are generally missed, rather frequently. I would advise you to see your orthopod who can examine you and then decide on the diagnosis. Good luck.
See below. If done on the appropriate MRI scanner meniscal tears are usually diagnosed on mri. Pain can be from many causes, not just meniscal tear. It can come from joint effusion, synovitis, cartilage damages, baker's cyst, etc.
MRI. Mri can under estimate joint surface cartilage changes that cause pain. Referred pain from vascular or sciatic etiology may also be the culprit. Check with your orthopedic surgeon.