What happens if you tear your meniscus, and you don’t get it fixed?

What happens if you tear your meniscus, and you don’t get it fixed? 1024 768 Phoenixspine Web

The unique situation of professional athletes often provides us with answers to our most common questions. Jordan Romano pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. His knee started hurting in early 2021.  An MRI scan showed a torn meniscus as the likely cause of his pain.  

The news must have been agonizing for the young pitcher. A torn meniscus causes extreme knee pain that is so severe the knee feels locked. It’s bad enough when it happens to a regular person, but when professional athletes tear their meniscus there can be millions of dollars on the line if they don’t play. 


Jordan Romano had no choice; after the MRI he entered therapy and treatment immediately and pitched through pain for the rest of the season. When the regular season ended for the Blue Jays in October the pitcher hurried to have arthroscopic meniscectomy surgery as soon as possible.  


Meniscectomy surgery provides immediate relief. The pain and locking of your knee is gone when you wake up. Everyone is delighted to be able to get up and walk right away without the pain they had before surgery.

The surgery is done through tiny incisions using an arthroscope, so recovery is about a week. In younger patients with more extensive tears sometimes in addition to cleaning out the dead and injured tissues, a meniscal repair is needed.


Our patients at Phoenix Spine and Joint can’t tell us enough how much they love arthroscopic meniscectomy. They are up and around right away, without pain, and have no permanent restrictions. It’s true that some meniscus tears heal on their own without surgery, but it takes quite a long time. Our patients don’t want to be laid up. No extensive rehabilitation is required. 


“If you tear your meniscus and don’t get it fixed, then you can expect severe pain and locking of your knee as the tear heals. While some tears heal on their own, the older you are and the more extensive the tear the slower it heals; some tears never fully recover on their own. During healing, we tend to favor the other knee and alter our gait to keep weight off the hurt knee. Slow healing therefore often causes problems with the hip in the short run and accelerates arthritis in the long term” Dan Lieberman, Medical Director, Phoenix Spine and Joint. 

Once MRI confirms knee pain is most likely caused by a tear in the meniscus then you need to see an orthopedic surgeon, and preferably one who specializes in sports medicine. They will tell you what surgery can do for you, and what happens if you don’t have it.  


Learn more about a torn knee meniscus including your options for treatment and frequency asked questions on our website: Meniscectomy & Meniscus Repair – Phoenix Spine & Joint (phoenixspineandjoint.com) 


Thinking about a stem cell injection? Watch this:  

Stem Cell Injection is better than hyaluronic acid and delay knee replacement surgery. A new study. 


Ready to find a surgeon near you see our website. Go to the page that corresponds to your insurance and fill out the search boxes as follows:  

Procedure:  Location:  Insurance: 
Knee meniscectomy  


Knee Meniscal repair 

Gilbert, Goodyear, or Scottsdale  Check your card 


For more on Jordan Romano’s injury, visit:

Report: Romano Played Through Torn Meniscus for Final Months of 2021 – Sports Illustrated Toronto Blue Jays News, Analysis and More 


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