Partial knee menisectomy is a very common surgery that involves removing the torn part of the meniscus. The meniscus is a natural shock absorber for the knee. In fact, in America alone, we perform about 700,000 of these surgeries per year, making it one of the most common orthopedic surgeries. While most patients think they’re getting a meniscus repair procedure, the truth is, 96% of these surgeries just remove a piece of the shock absorber, leaving your knee less protected.
There have been many high-quality research studies over the past decade or more that were designed to answer the specific question, “Is surgery necessary for a torn meniscus?” What did they show? All three large studies showed that meniscus surgery was not effective or no better than just physical therapy.
We offer innovative non-surgical procedures that may help decrease pain and improve knee function and mobility without the need for surgery.
Meniscus surgery is traumatic and carries associated risks. Even successful surgeries require months of painful rehab to regain strength and mobility. After surgery, most patients will be on crutches, wear a brace, or some combination of both for several weeks before returning back to normal activity. The recovery time and rehabilitation period may be extended up to six weeks with a knee brace or crutches.
Keep in mind that there may even be some complications associated with meniscus surgery, prolonging the recovery period even more. This includes complications with anesthesia, such as respiratory or cardiac malfunction, infections, and injury to nerves and blood vessels, fracture, weakness, stiffness or instability of the joint, inability to repair the meniscus, repeated rupture of the meniscus, or the need for additional surgeries.
Can you ever truly recover from parts of your knee meniscus being removed surgically? In the long run, almost all meniscus surgeries accelerate degeneration that leads to osteoarthritis and exacerbate the biomechanical problems that initially led to the need for the surgery.
Meniscus tears are like wrinkles; they are unavoidable. Some of us get more of them at a young age and some of us don’t get a lot of them until we’re older. The meniscus gets small tears as we age and as the knee joint begins to wear out. For example, in middle-aged and elderly patients, taking an MRI of patients with no knee pain and those with ongoing knee pain will reveal that both groups have about the same amount of meniscus tears. If these things usually don’t cause pain, why are we operating on them? If our surgeries are no better than fake surgeries, why are we placing all of these patients at the risk of surgical complications?
Recent research shows that some of the most popular orthopedic knee surgeries, including meniscectomies, have no benefit and are not more effective than placebo or sham surgery. But can a meniscus tear heal on its own when left untreated? Non-surgical treatments for meniscus tears for healing on their own include physical therapy, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Interventional orthopedics also provides a non-surgical injection alternative that may prove beneficial in reducing pain and improving function.
Have you been told that invasive surgery is your only option to fix your torn ACL? Getting your ACL replaced permanently alters the mechanics of the knee joint. You have other options when it comes to treating your ACL injury. In fact, about 70% of all ACL tears that currently get surgery could have been treated with a precise injection.
Your body is built to repair itself and our goal is to save your ACL, not replace it. We offer a non-surgical alternative for ACL tears that requires advanced injection skills using X-ray guidance, which may aide the healing of your ACL tear, while reducing pain and increasing function.
Dr Blecher specializes in Primary Care Sports Medicine and has been practicing at the prestigious Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI) for over 15 years where he has had the opportunity to care for a wide range of patients. From Little League to high school, to collegiate, to elite and professional athletes; Olympic champions, weekend warriors and award-winning entertainers have all entrusted their care to Dr Blecher to recover from their injuries in a quick, non-surgical manner.
Andrew M. Blecher was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts where he was an NCAA All-American in Track & Field and graduated with Cum Laude honors. He then completed medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, receiving many clinical and pre-clinical honors. After medical school, he completed his residency at UCLA’s Family Medicine program at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. This training provided him with knowledge in various aspects of internal medicine, women’s health and pediatrics that could be applied to the broad field of sports medicine.
Following residency, he completed a sports medicine fellowship at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. His fellowship responsibilities included the NFL Cleveland Browns and NBA Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as Cleveland’s professional hockey team and NCAA Division I collegiate soccer, volleyball and wrestling teams. The fellowship also provided him the opportunity to participate in the NFL combine and Cleveland Indians spring training. Additionally, Dr. Blecher has been part of the medical team for national and international events, including the Gravity Games, the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships, and the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.
A Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice, Dr. Blecher is a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and is also Board Certified in Sports Medicine. Additionally, he was also awarded the “Pioneer Certificate” for being one of the first to be registered in musculoskeletal ultrasound with the ARDMS certification.
Dr. Blecher provides medical orthopedic care to athletes of all ages and specializes in sports health and medical conditions related to sports participation. He provides pre-participation physical exams, exercise and rehabilitation prescriptions and has an interest in nutritional and sports supplements. He lectures extensively on current sports medicine topics such as cartilage disorders and early arthritis in the athlete. As a runner himself, he also has a special interest in running injuries. Another area of interest is concussion in the athlete. Dr Blecher has years of experience evaluating and managing concussions on the sidelines as well as in the office. He has lectured extensively on the subject at many grand rounds and national conferences such as the National Summit on Sports Concussion. He was also one of the first Certified ImPACT Consultants in the greater Los Angeles area. Dr Blecher has also served as an expert witness in landmark cases involving athletes with head injuries.
Dr. Blecher is also a leader in the growing field of Regenerative Medicine for joints, tendons and ligaments. Using biologic techniques such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, and Stem Cell Treatment, as well as advanced imaging such as Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, Dr. Blecher is able to accelerate healing for many acute athletic and orthopedic injuries, as well as provide non-operative, minimally invasive treatment for many musculoskeletal injuries that would otherwise require surgery or become chronic untreatable conditions. He was the first certified Regenexx provider in Los Angeles and has lectured nationally and internationally on the use of Stem Cells and PRP in athletes. He is also one of a select group of U.S. physicians to provide international concierge travel medicine procedures such as cultured stem cell treatment.
Dr. Blecher has been named a Los Angeles Top Doctor and he currently serves as a team physician for Los Angeles Valley College, College of the Canyons (Valencia, CA) and Campbell Hall High School (Studio City, CA). He has also served as a medical consultant for ESPN and as a treating physician for the Summer X-Games in Los Angeles, as well as the WTA LA Women’s Tennis Championships and USTA Men’s Tennis Farmer’s Classic. Dr. Blecher is also the Medical Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine at SCOI and is the Director of the SCORE Concussion Program.
As a Clinical Instructor for UCLA and CSUN, Dr Blecher also serves as an educator for Sports Medicine Fellows and Sports Medicine Athletic Training Students. He has also invented numerous braces and is involved in several ongoing research and development projects to help the next generation of athletes.
In his free time, Dr. Blecher has enjoyed traveling, hiking, tennis, racquetball, soccer, skiing, whitewater kayaking, SCUBA diving and spending time with his family. Having undergone multiple back surgeries himself, he has a personal understanding of what patients and athletes go through to try and return to what is most important to them. He is looking forward to meeting you.
Areas treated: Elbow, Foot & Ankle, Hand & Wrist, Hip, Knee, Shoulder
Todd J. Molnar, MD, was raised in the Southern California and received his undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California where he played in the renowned Trojan Marching Band. He received his M.D. at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and then completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Stanford Univeristy becoming board certified in 1988. For more advanced training in sports medicine, he completed a fellowship in San Diego, which included experience with the San Diego Chargers, USA Olympic Volleyball Team, and San Diego State’s Athletic Medicine Department. With a wealth of sports medicine experience and a unique talent for nonsurgical treatment of orthopedic injuries, he joined Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI) in 1988. He has a thriving clinical practice as well as academic achievements in research, published articles, lecturing worldwide, and training fellows. After almost 30 years of experience in traditional non-surgical management of spine and sports injuries, Dr. Molnar joined the Regenexx network in 2016, and has been certified by the IOF in utilizing ortho-biologics with advanced interventional injection techniques in the treatment of spinal disorders. Dr. Molnar’s philosophy is to return patients to their highest level of performance and help them maintain their activity levels throughout their entire life. With the addition of regenerative medicine and ortho-biologics to his practice, the outcomes for his patients have been significantly improved. He is married with three sons and lives an active lifestyle, enjoying golf, masters swimming, fitness and travel.
Areas treated: Cervical Spine (except CCI), Lumbar Spine, Thoracic Spine
436 North Bedford Drive, Suite 202
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
375 Rolling Oaks Drive, Suite 210
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
24051 Newhall Ranch Road, Building C
Valencia, CA 91354
6815 Noble Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91405
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