Meniscus Tear Recovery Time Without Surgery

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Can A Torn Meniscus Heal On Its Own?

Yes, since the meniscus is a living tissue, there are parts that have good blood circulation, and tears in those areas heal best.

Physical therapy can be effective in healing some tears, but frequently, the body needs a helping hand to facilitate and speed up the process. That’s where Rejuvenexx regenerative orthopedic procedures come in.

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Meniscus tear recovery without surgery

How Does Rejuvenexx Work For Meniscus Tears?

At Rejuvenexx, we invented a new approach to orthopedic care we call Interventional Orthopedics. This minimally invasive alternative to meniscus surgery uses ultrasound-guided technology to precisely inject your own bone marrow concentrate — which contains stem cells — directly where it’s needed in the joint.

The cells in your bone marrow concentrate work at the site of your injury to promote your body’s natural healing abilities to treat the tear and avoid surgery 1.
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Meniscus Tear Recovery Time Without Surgery

In most cases, knee surgeries require months of recovery and, frequently, additional months of painful rehabilitation to regain strength and function. The exact length of this recovery varies with the type and severity of the tear, the procedure performed, and the patient’s health status, but it can be as long as six months.

Rejuvenexx procedures are intended to help avoid the side effects of surgery and support the healthy, cushioning environment the meniscus provides for the knee. Generally, the recovery time is much shorter than with surgery, and patients can return to normal daily activity levels within a matter of weeks and to more active sports within a few months.

Return to Daily Routine
2 to 5 days
6+ weeks
Return to Sports
3 to 6 months
1 year
Brace, up to 6 weeks PT
Crutches, brace, extensive, no driving, 3 to 6 months PT
Pain Management
Mostly over-the-counter pain medication (days)
Prescription pain medication for weeks (weeks)
General Anesthesia
Keep Your Meniscus

See how Rejuvenexx helped Dimitri avoid surgery and quickly get back to what he loves.

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Note: Like all medical procedures, Rejuvenexx procedures have a success and failure rate. Not all patients will experience the same results.

Rejuvenexx Procedures For Meniscus Tears

During appointments, Rejuvenexx physicians examine your body in motion and often use Ultrasound to observe the inner workings of the joint in real time. This gives them a much more accurate picture of what’s contributing to your pain, how function is affected, and ultimately, the root cause of the problem.

Once you’ve been evaluated, your physician will customize a treatment plan based on your specific needs. Our treatments include:

Rejuvenexx-SD: A patented protocol using bone marrow concentrate that contains stem cells

RejuvenexxSCP: A proprietary formulation of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that’s more concentrated than what a basic bedside centrifuge machine can produce

Rejuvenexx-PL: Platelet lysate, which is a highly specialized derivative of platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

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Watch a real patient’s Rejuvenexx procedure

Watch a meniscus tear patient’s Rejuvenexx procedure in this 4-minute video.

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Note: Like all medical procedures, Rejuvenexx procedures have a success and failure rate. Not all patients will experience the same results.

BEFORE and AFTER Procedure MRI Images

Take a look at the outcomes of a patient who chose to have a Rejuvenexx procedure instead of surgery.

Scroll to the right to see the MRI of the meniscus before treatment and to the left to see the outcome. The BEFORE shows a torn meniscus. Once treated, the area as seen on the AFTER image will look like a dark, diagonal band.

Knee MRI ACL Tear Before & After
Knee MIR ACL Tear Before & After


What does the meniscus do?

The meniscus is a cushion of cartilage between the bony ends (condyles) of your femur (the bone in your thigh) and tibia (the bone in your shin). Each knee has two menisci: a lateral meniscus and a medial meniscus.

Together, they reduce friction during movement, help the femur and tibia fit together, distribute your body weight across the knee, act as a shock absorber, help distribute fluid that lubricates the knee joint, and protect the gliding cartilage within the knee. 

Tears of the meniscus can be the result of wear and tear on the joint or can occur when there’s an injury, such as some type of sports trauma.

The meniscus has a red zone — the outer third of the meniscus — with a good blood supply and a white zone — the rest of the meniscus — with no blood supply. Torn cartilage in the red zone has the potential to heal, particularly in those younger than 30, while tears in the white zone rarely heal due to lack of blood supply.


Anatomy of a proximal surface of the tibia with meniscus in the healthy human knee joint.

Knee meniscus

Research shows that surgery for a torn meniscus is overprescribed and often no more effective than physical therapy.2 Unfortunately, patients are not always informed of the low success rate of these procedures.

Whether patients have a partial meniscus “clean-up” (a piece is surgically removed) or a complete meniscectomy, outcomes are often unsuccessful. Both procedures change knee biomechanics and may later result in knee arthritis.

If you have a torn meniscus, you may experience knee pain or mechanical limitations. Some people have constant pain, some have intermittent pain, and others have no pain at all. 

Unless the torn meniscus has locked the knee, many people with a torn meniscus can walk, stand, sit, and sleep without pain. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Swelling or stiffness in the knee
  • A popping sensation
  • Difficulty fully straightening the knee
  • Feeling as if the knee is collapsing under weight
Sometimes nothing, at least initially. If you have no pain or mechanical issues in the joint, you may choose to wait to see if it heals on its own. Depending on the type and severity of the tear, you may have pain, stiffness, and reduced function. There’s also the possibility of developing knee arthritis as a result of the damage.

Tears that occur in the red zone of your meniscus and have the best blood circulation heal the best with regenerative orthopedic procedures. The tears we see and treat most often are listed below; however, other types of tears may also benefit from regenerative orthopedic procedures. After a thorough examination and consultation, your Rejuvenexx practitioner can answer this question more definitively. 

illustration of knee meniscus flap tear

Meniscus Flap Tear
These tears usually involve a small percentage of the meniscus and do not have the ability to heal on their own because they occur in an area that does not have a good blood supply. Flap tears are the type most commonly “trimmed” or “shaved”, (removed) leading to long-term issues.  

Illustration of bucket handle meniscus tear

Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear
The entire inner rim of the medial meniscus can be torn in what is called a bucket handle tear. These tears usually occur in an area of good blood supply in the meniscus

Illustration of degenerative meniscus Tear

Complex Degenerative Meniscus Tears
These tears of the meniscus are usually seen as a part of the overall condition of osteoarthritis of the knees in older adults and cause the menisci to fray and tear in multiple directions.

consistent MRI finding associated with pain is swelling in the bone called bone marrow edema (BME) or a bone marrow lesion (BML). Current research on knee pain due to arthritis has shifted from cartilage loss to this bone marrow swelling.

Get started to see if you are a Rejuvenexx candidate

To talk one-on-one with one of our team members about how Rejuvenexx may be able to help your orthopedic pain or injury, please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you within the next business day.

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We will provide information to help you decide whether you want to schedule an evaluation with a Rejuvenexx Physician.

Insurance typically covers evaluations and diagnostic testing (if recommended). Most insurance plans currently do not cover Rejuvenexx Procedures.



Centeno C, Sheinkop M, Dodson E, Stemper I, Williams C, Hyzy M, Ichim T, Freeman M. A specific protocol of autologous bone marrow concentrate and platelet products versus exercise therapy for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial with 2 year follow-up. J Transl Med. 2018 Dec 13;16(1):355. doi: 10.1186/s12967-018-1736-8. PMID: 30545387. [Google Scholar]


Moseley JB, O’Malley K, Petersen NJ, Menke TJ, Brody BA, Kuykendall DH, Hollingsworth JC, Ashton CM, Wray NP. A controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jul 11;347(2):81-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa013259.
PMID: 12110735. [Google Scholar]

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*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, REJUVENEXX® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the REJUVENEXX website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from REJUVENEXX for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.