MRI is still the best way to confirm a diagnosis of meniscal tear in the knee. Studies show that doctors can use MRI results to determine if the tear can be repaired.
The MRI shows the exact location of the tear. Where the tear is located tells the surgeon how much blood supply is available. A good blood supply is needed to help the cartilage repair itself.
The closer the tear is to the junction where the meniscus meets the synovium, the better the chance for healing. The synovium is the inner lining of the knee joint, which contains the synovial fluid used to lubricate the joint.
The MRI also shows if there are degenerative changes in the meniscus. These types of tears are less likely to heal and require removal rather than repair. So even if the physician’s exam was positive for a meniscal tear, the MRI is an important diagnostic test. The surgeon will use this information in planning all aspects of your care and recovery.