Can Meniscus Tears Heal on Their Own?⠀

Mensicus tears in the knee are pretty common. A few decades ago, surgeons would actually remove your entire meniscus if you had a tear, thinking that their function was not very significant. We now know how impactful the meniscus is on joint forces and shock absorption at the knee.

Unfortunately many people that had their meniscus removed several years ago now have significant arthritis.Recent research has been conducted that has shown that many people do well with nonoperative rehab, and performing a partial meniscectomy does not improve results. But is this true in every one?


The answer probably has to do with the vascularity of the meniscus, which comes from the exterior perimeter of the structure. If you look at the meniscus, it is often broken down into 3 zones based on the vascularity:⠀

1. Red zone – the outer perimeter of the meniscus with a blood supply⠀

2. Red-White zone – the transitional mid-zone of the meniscus⠀

3. White zone – the inner portion of the meniscus with no vascularity⠀

If you have a tear in the vascular zone, there is a potential to heal. If you have a tear in the avascular white zone, not so much.⠀