Meniscus Repair

Meniscus repair is the most common arthroscopic procedure for the knee. A meniscus tear is also the most common injury seen in the knee. This usually occurs with a twist of the joint. Patients usually experience a pop and pain. Other tears occur as patients age.  These degenerative tears may occur with less of a traumatic event. There is often swelling in the joint. Many patients get better treated conservatively with icing, anti-inflammatories, rest and slow return to activities. If you don’t get better, an MRI scan would be helpful to show if a tear is present. The meniscus can tear in many different ways.
Meniscus Tears: Understand your MRI results
Meniscus Tear
Arthroscopic view of a meniscus tear
Meniscal Tear
After arthroscopic removal of torn meniscal tissue

What is the procedure for a meniscal repair ?

Surgical treatment is performed as an outpatient. A general anesthetic is used.  Advanced arthroscopic techniques are utilized. Under a general anesthetic, three very small incisions are made around the knee.  The entire joint is carefully assessed.  Each area of the joint is carefully reviewed for any treatments that are appropriate. A meniscus tear can be easily visualized. Every meniscal tear is different. Some are repaired by trimming away a small piece of unstable tissue. Others are repaired by placing suture into the meniscus and allowing the meniscus tear to heal.  Small instruments are used through these small incisions that can trim away tissue or allow placement of sutures into the meniscus. 

What is the procedure for meniscal root repair ?

Tears of the meniscal root are a specialized kind of tear.  This tear makes the entire meniscus non-functional if not treated properly.  Some are best treated by removing a portion of the meniscus, and some with repair of the root region. Learn more about this on my blog post on meniscal root tears. 

Meniscal root tear

Rehabilitation after meniscal repair

There are usually no significant restrictions placed during the first few weeks after surgery, allowing patients to walk and slowly return to normal activities.  If a true repair using suture is performed, most patients use crutches for 4 weeks and limit the bending of the knee to prevent damaging the repaired area.  Physical therapy is usually helpful to guide you during the recovery process.