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Meniscus Repair

Meniscectomy

Tears in the meniscus are common in athletes. They are usually produced form rapid twisting of the body over a planted foot during a traumatic injury. Meniscus is a type of cartilage that is responsible for dissipating some of the forces that is transmitted through the knee joint. Each knee has a lateral and a medial meniscus. The medial meniscus tears more often than the lateral meniscus. The symptoms of meniscus tear include pain, swelling, catching, popping, and cracking inside the knee joint. The diagnosis is usually confirmed with a good quality MRI scans.

Meniscus Repair

Normal Knee Anatomy


Meniscus Repair photo

Knee Tear


Meniscectomy

MRI of Intact Miniscus

Meniscectomy photo

MRI of Torn Miniscus

Treatment initially is directed towards reducing pain and swelling and strengthening the muscles around the knee joint to add stability to the knee. Large tears are often addressed surgically. Large tears are often addressed surgically. The size, location, and the quality of the remaining meniscus dictate the type of surgical treatment that is recommended (repair versus resection of the torn portion). A good blood supply is required to perform repair; however, only the inner third of the meniscus has a good blood supply.

If meniscectomy is recommended, only the torn portion of the meniscus is removed. This leaves the rest of the meniscus to perform its function. This is a relatively short procedure, and is performed as an outpatient surgery (patients go home the day of surgery). Patients are allowed to place their full weight immediately and typically are able to ambulate with minimal assistance within two to three days.

If meniscus repair is recommended, then the torn portion of the meniscus is repaired using various techniques. Patient go home the day of surgery; however, they are asked to not place any weight on their affected knee for 4 to 6 weeks that is required for the meniscus to heal.