Caring Medical - Where the world comes for ProlotherapyThe many types of meniscus tears

Prolotherapy Knee articular cartilage repair without surgery

Ross Hauser, MD

In this article we provide background information on the many types of meniscus tears and how they can be treated with Comprehensive Prolotherapy.

For Caring Medical nonsurgical treatment guidelines please see Non-surgical Meniscus Repair-procedures.

The many types of meniscus tears


what does a torn meniscus look like

From the National Institutes of Health NIH

Menisci have two zones. The red zone is outside and the white zone is inside. Meniscus tears are characterized by their placement in these two zones.

The categorizing meniscus injury into the red and white zone would also help surgeons identify which injury could heal by itself and which could not.

A red zone tear lies within the blood rich portion of the meniscus. Where there is a blood supply there is healing as blood brings the healing and growth factors needed for wound repair. The white zone meniscal tear is was thought to be non-healing because there is no direct blood supply.

If meniscal tears could keep themselves contained to a zone – healing would be easiest -however meniscus tears can transverse the red and white, the healing and non-healing zones. The key to many doctors is heal the white zone tears and you can non-surgically repair a meniscal injury.

picture what does a torn meniscus look like

The other classification of meniscus tear are related to the depth of the tear. Tears are considered to either be partial thickness tears or full thickness tears. Partial thickness tears are tears that only extend part way across the meniscus, while full thickness tears extend fully across. So, if you have a full thickness flap tear, then it is a tear that cuts across the meniscus completely.

Regardless of the diagnosis – meniscus repair would be consider holistic – the whole knee should be treated to strengthen instability issues. Surgery can only address a specific damage, comprehensive Prolotherapy including stem cells and blood platelets seeks to achieve healing the whole knee.

1. Huang H, Wang S, Gui J, Shen H. A study to identify and characterize the stem/progenitor cell in rabbit meniscus. Cytotechnology. 2016 Oct;68(5):2083-103. doi: 10.1007/s10616-016-9949-2.
2. Urzen JM, Fullerton BD. Nonsurgical Resolution of a Bucket Handle Meniscal Tear: A Case Report. PM R2016 Jun 6. pii: S1934-1482(16)30158-7. [Pubmed]

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