Arthroscopic meniscal repair is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to repair torn cartilage in the knee. The procedure can help to improve mobility and relieve symptoms such as pain and swelling.
The meniscus are the pieces of cartilage in the knee joint that act as shock absorbers between the bones. Meniscal tears are common in sports injuries, but they can happen whenever the knee is twisted or damaged. In older people, tears can happen after very small twists or injuries due to wear and tear in the joint. Typical symptoms of a torn meniscus include pain, swelling, instability and difficulty moving the knee. The effects are usually felt most when squatting or twisting the knee. Surgery may be recommended if the symptoms are severe or persistent. Surgically repairing the meniscus can help the knee to heal. Another reason for recommending surgery is if fragments of cartilage have broken away from the meniscus and become trapped in the knee joint. The trapped fragments can cause a catching sensation in the joint and in some cases may even prevent the knee from bending or extending completely. Removing these fragments can help to restore the mobility of the joint. However, meniscal repair isn’t possible for every injury. The doctor will need to assess the damage in order to work out whether surgery can help.
Meniscal repair is an arthroscopic procedure, which means that it will be carried out through several small incisions in the knee. The surgeon will use a camera called an arthroscope to see inside the knee during the operation. The exact procedure will depend on how the meniscus has been damaged. If the tear is in the outer part of the meniscus where there is a good blood supply, it may be possible to repair the cartilage. The tear will be stitched up in order to encourage the cartilage to heal together. Other parts of the meniscus may need to be removed rather than repaired as the cartilage won’t be able to heal. Any fragments of cartilage that have become detached will also be removed in order to prevent them from causing problems inside the joint.
Meniscal repair can usually be performed as an outpatient procedure, so you won’t need to stay in hospital. However, you will need to take it easy as your knee heals. Physiotherapy can help you to rebuild your strength and mobility, which should be fully restored in about three to five months.
If you are considering surgery for a torn meniscus, get in touch to arrange a consultation with an experienced surgeon at the Cumbrian Knee Clinic.
Matt Dawson is a Specialist Knee Surgeon with over 16 years Consultant experience. Matt is internationally renowned as one of the leading authorities on knee realignment surgery
Specialist Knee Surgeon
Over 16 years Consultant experience
Patient Centric Approach
Enhanced Recovery Programme (ERP)
Leading in Knee Realignment Surgery