I'm 62-years old and getting ready to retire. I've always been active and don't want to become a slug when I'm retired. The problem is I had the meniscus taken out of my left knee and now I've got arthritis in there pretty bad. I'm not really ready for a knee replacement. Are there any other treatments out there for this problem?

In the last 10 years or so, doctors have seen that taking the entire meniscus out isn't always such a good idea. Many patients with a total meniscectomy ended up with severe arthritis. Now the surgeon tries to repair the tear and/or remove only as much tissue as is absolutely necessary.

In the meantime, scientists are looking into the use of meniscal allografts for patients like you. An allograft is a donated meniscus from a cadaver (body preserved after death).

Earlier studies suggested that older adults with arthritic changes in the joint wouldn't do well with this operation. But in fact, a recent large study disputes those findings. Almost 90% of the patients in the study had good long-term results.

It's likely that improved operative technique accounts for the better results seen with meniscal allografts in this study. It's possible with a larger number of patients in the study that the results are more accurate. More study is needed to predict patients who will have a good outcome ... and patients who won't.