When people 40 and older have a torn meniscus, the treatment is usually not clear cut. People have choices and the best choice for them depends a lot on their preferences. To help people understand their knee problems, their treatment options and the uncertainties, the Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Treatment Choices for Torn Meniscus after Age 40.
This program is for people 40 and older who have a torn meniscus, with or without knee osteoarthritis, and who have been told by a doctor that the meniscal tear is the likely cause of their symptoms. It is not for people in certain medical situations, such as those who have a knee that locks. Additionally, the Foundation has developed separate programs for people whose symptoms are likely due to early-stage knee osteoarthritis or whose osteoarthritis symptoms are so severe that they are considering knee replacement.
This program explains what a torn meniscus is and the difficulty of determining whether knee symptoms are caused by a torn meniscus or another type of knee problem, like osteoarthritis. It discusses the importance of staying active to manage symptoms. The program profiles the different treatment options available. It describes exercise therapy and pain medications, treatments that can help symptoms caused by either a torn meniscus or osteoarthritis, and the program explores the uncertainty surrounding arthroscopic surgery of the knee, also called arthroscopy.
Interviews showcase three real patients who made decisions about whether to have arthroscopic surgery. They also describe their experiences with exercise therapy and the importance of remaining active. Clinical commentary in the program is provided by an orthopedic surgeon.
This program was developed with our production partner, Health Dialog. It is available as a booklet and a web-based program (Health Crossroads®) for Health Dialog members.