Non-operative treatment of degenerative posterior root tear of the medial meniscus

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2010 Apr;18(4):535-9. doi: 10.1007/s00167-009-0891-0. Epub 2009 Aug 27.


We reviewed thirty patients with degenerative posterior root tear of the medial meniscus to investigate clinical results of non-operative treatment retrospectively. There were 3 men and 27 women at a median age of 59 years old (range, 51-65). The median follow-up period was 36 months (range, 24-51). Non-operative treatments included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs daily for 8-12 weeks and supervised physical therapy twice a week at least during a period of 8 weeks. The symptoms, physical signs, the Visual Analog Scale pain, the Lysholm Knee Scoring scale and IKDC subjective activity level were analyzed at the time of pre-intervention, 6 months, 12 months and the final follow-ups. Most patients had intense mechanical pain initially, but the severity and frequency of pain was decreased within 3 months. Clinical outcome was improved at 12 months follow-up and then declined to a level that was still improved over initial scores at final follow-up. Two patients with Kellgren-Lawrence grade 2 progressed to grade 3 at the median follow-up of 36 months. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that non-operative treatment provided symptomatic relief in most patients with the degenerative posterior root tear of the medial meniscus and functional improvements in a short term follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Exercise Movement Techniques / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal