I'm 26-years old and at the peak of my career in athletics. I also have a torn meniscus that can't be repaired. If I have it removed, can they put a new one in?

Artificial cartilage is still in the laboratory and in experimental studies. Some surgeons are using allograft tissue for young patients with severe meniscal damage. Allograft means it comes from a donor. In this case cadaver tissue is used (meniscus harvested after the donor's death).

Careful rehab after the transplant can result in return to normal activities including sports. The implant is not foolproof however. New trauma can cause a new tear or injury to the allograft. Surgery to repair it may be all that's needed. But a complete tear may result in allograft removal.

Postoperative tears are more common in older patients and in people who've had multiple knee surgeries already. Most patients have a good to excellent result with graft survival in 90 percent of recent cases reported.