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I just tore the cartilage in my knee. Is there any way to tell ahead of time just how much better I might get?

Researchers do try to find ways to tell how much recovery might occur after illnesses and injuries. This kind of information can help doctors advise and direct their patients. A recent study from the Harvard Medical School offers some new information about meniscal tears of the knee.

They reviewed the results of 25 studies. They found patients had the worst outcomes when they were in poor health or in a legal battle over the accident. Other factors pointing to a worse result included prior surgery on that knee and a large-sized tear. Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee before the tear showed greater X-ray changes in the joint later.

Any of these variables can mean more pain and less function down the road. The surgeon can give you a better idea of your odds after looking inside the joint and viewing the damage with an arthroscope.


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