The meniscus is a portion of strong cartilage where the two bones converge, also known as the joint space. This cartilage piece cushions and protects the bones and surface of the joints. In addition, the meniscus absorbs shock from exercise or other sporting activities.
Meniscus tears are relatively common sports-related injuries and occur in the cartilage discs around the knee joint. The injuries often occur as a result of sudden twists or stretches during exercise. In some cases, it is impossible to repair tears, and partial resection of the meniscus might be necessary to manage any uncomfortable symptoms. Sometimes, however, the injury can be repaired surgically. I am able to perform meniscus repair arthroscopically, a procedure in which I will insert an arthroscope into the knee and use stitches to repair the tear, depending on the nature of the injury.
Meniscus repair involves attaching cartilage pieces for them to heal completely. Only a few tears are repairable. A partial meniscectomy is a procedure whereby I remove injured cartilage and leave healthy meniscus tissue as is.
This entire procedure is carried out through an arthroscopy. An arthroscope is a lighted tube that I use to inspect the meniscus tear. Next, certain types of tools are placed inside the joint depending on the technique used. Afterwards, the portals are sealed, and the knee is bandaged. Finally, surgical strips or stitches are used to close the portals.
Most patients who undergo meniscus repair do not need to remain overnight in the hospital and return home on the day of surgery. The benefits of this procedure are vast, including a faster recovery, a more stable knee, improvement in mobility and pain relief. After surgery, it is recommended that the patient wears a brace until their knee heals as well as crutches to stabilise the joint further.
A meniscus tear causes pain, inflammation and stiffness at the knee. In addition, you may not bend your knee entirely and experience a blocked knee joint. Sometimes conservative treatments such as medication (anti-inflammatories), bracing and physical therapy are insufficient in relieving pain. As a result, arthroscopic meniscus repair is efficient in treating pain.
Meniscus repair lasts at most forty-five minutes. However, the time it takes to complete surgery depends on the extent of the injury and additional techniques used.
You cannot walk directly after surgery. Usually, full weight walking is only allowed at 6 weeks as opposed to a partial meniscectomy where we only require the patient to walk on crutches for 1 week.