Considering Surgery for that Knee Injury?

Knee Injury?

Here in Bozeman Montana, we live active lives and we love our outdoor sports and recreation.  
considering knee surgery, chiropractic can help. bozeman montana.Sports like skiing, skating, hockey, climbing, trail running, soccer, basketball, tennis...any sport or activity where the foot is planted and the body turns with intensity predisposes the knee to a meniscus tear; and so, a common injury found in our community is the meniscus tear.

Often, surgery is recommended as the treatment of choice.  While surgery is often the "go to" recommendation by orthopedists, research does not necessarily support this recommendation.


1. A 2013 study compared sham surgery vs. surgical meniscus repair; both groups received the same "post-surgical" rehabilitation program. The results demonstrated no difference between groups.

2. A 2014 study found supervised exercise/rehabilitative therapy to be superior to surgery for degenerative meniscus tears.

3. Another 2014 study compared surgery to rehabilitation for unstable meniscus tears and significantly favored surgery.

Most studies show that conservative care, including chiropractic, physical therapy and rehabilitative exercises, is as effective or more effective than a surgical procedure for stable or degenerative meniscus tears; whereas, surgery is shown in research to be superior for unstable meniscus tears.  This would lead one to take home the message that it is very important to accurately diagnose the type of tear.  While this is a completely valid statement, there are other considerations.

Conservative Care

Even in the unstable tear study, there were patients that improved with proper rehabilitation and without surgery. Surgery is much more expensive than conservative care and there are potential negative side effects to meniscus surgery, albeit rare.  

Most importantly, a person can always have surgery after trying a conservative care protocol if the results are not what they were hoping for; however, a person can not take back a surgery if they do not like the results.

Here at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic the doctors effectively treat many knee injuries with a combination of hands on care and exercise rehabilitation and refer patients to orthopedist when/if treatment is unsuccessful.

Call Gallatin Valley Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment or to discuss the research and your options!  


Sihvonen, et al. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy versus sham surgery for a degenerative meniscal tear.  New England Journal of Medicine. 2013. 

Stensrud, et al.  Effect of Exercise Therapy Compared with Arthroscopic Surgery on Knee Muscle Strength and Functional Performance in Middle-Aged Patients with Degenerative Meniscus Tears: A 3-Mo Follow-up of a Randomized Controlled Trial.  American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2014.

El Ghazaly, et al. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is superior to physical rehabilitation in the management of symptomatic unstable meniscal tears.  International Orthopedics. 2014.


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