Mending meniscals in children, improving diagnosis and recovery

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Rosemont, Ill. – The meniscus is a rubber-like, crescent moon-shaped cartilage cushion that sits between the leg and thigh bone. Each knee has two menisci: one on the inside of the knee joint and one on the outside. In recent years, more children have been diagnosed with tears to this area (meniscal tears); however, according to a literature review published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), prospects for a full recovery are high.

“Seventy-five to 90 percent of children who have meniscal tears heal successfully when they are treated appropriately. In adults, the success rate is often less than 50 percent,” said study co-author Dennis Kramer, M.D., an attending orthopaedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital Boston and instructor in Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “A child’s physiology is different than an adult’s—they are growing and therefore have a greater blood flow to the meniscus. This helps in the healing process.”

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