5 doctors weighed in:

Can your meniscal cartilage heal on its own with enough time?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gwo-Chin Lee
Orthopedic Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: No

Meniscal tears usually do not heal because the blood supply is poor. Only peripheral tears which tend to be unstable have a potential for healing because these tears occur in a zone with good blood supply.
However, because these tend to be unstable, patients have surgery because of significant knee symptoms.

In brief: No

Meniscal tears usually do not heal because the blood supply is poor. Only peripheral tears which tend to be unstable have a potential for healing because these tears occur in a zone with good blood supply.
However, because these tend to be unstable, patients have surgery because of significant knee symptoms.
Dr. Gwo-Chin Lee
Dr. Gwo-Chin Lee
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Dr. John Ayres
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Yes

Meniscal tears can heal, but rarely.
If the outer 1/3 meniscus is torn, it has a good blood supply and can heal, but it is usually separated where torn. The two edges need to be re-approximated and fastened together. If the inner 2/3 of the meniscus is torn, there is no blood supply so no healing can take place. These central types of injuries are usually treated by removing the damaged part.

In brief: Yes

Meniscal tears can heal, but rarely.
If the outer 1/3 meniscus is torn, it has a good blood supply and can heal, but it is usually separated where torn. The two edges need to be re-approximated and fastened together. If the inner 2/3 of the meniscus is torn, there is no blood supply so no healing can take place. These central types of injuries are usually treated by removing the damaged part.
Dr. John Ayres
Dr. John Ayres
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