By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tears to the meniscus of the knee can be career-threatening for young athletes and although some are left to heal on their own and be treated with physical therapy and strength training, others require surgery.

But, these tears are relatively common as people age as a result of wear and tear.

In the case of older people, surgery is often not the desirable option because of risks, and the fact that aggressive competitive exercise might not be part of daily life.

It is clearly an individual decision.

Now a report in Annals of Rheumatic Disease has taken a look at this.

After two years of follow-up in those studied, a technique called arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (a common procedure) was no better than conservative treatment in those who experienced the tears after years of wear and tear.

Obviously, this is still an individual decision

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