Meniscus Repair Surgery
repair is not as
common as a meniscectomy when it comes to sports injury surgeries. This
procedure attempts to save the cartilage in the knee, and can provides
better long term health of the knee.
order for a meniscus repair to be successful, the torn portion of the
meniscus must be in an area with good blood supply and the ability to
Appropriate Tear Location
meniscus is a
circular shaped cartilage within the knee that sits between the femur
and tibia and provides shock absorption.
the meniscus is much better towards the outsde of the meniscus and
diminishes as you move closer to the center of the joint.
Tears that are located in the periphery (red arrows
where this blood supply is good, have a better chance for healing.
towards the middle of the joint (white arrows
along the thinner inside edge are less likely to heal.
an arthroscopic evaluation, your physician can determine where the tear
is located, and if it is appropriate for repair.
in the red vascular zone are classified as red-red tears - these heal
the best. Tears in the middle of the meniscus are classified as
red-white tears, and the chance for healing is somewhat questionable.
Tears towards the middle white zone are classified as white-white
tears, and have little chance of healing
mensicus repair surgery will start with an arthroscopic evaluation.
During this time your surgeon will evaluate all of the structures
within the knee joint, looking for areas of damage. They will also
probe the meniscus and find the torn areas. If the tear is in the
red-red zone, then they can repair it. Otherwise, they will perform a meniscectomy
and remove the torn
repair the meniscus, your surgeon will use either sutures, or small
bio-absorbable tacks to repair the meniscus. Depending on the size of
the tear, it may take one, two, or more sutures or tacks to bring the
pieces of meniscus back together.
Once the repair is
the meniscus is evaluated again to make sure that the repair is
adequate, and then they will close the portal incisions with sutures or
after a meniscus repair surgery is different from a meniscectomy. The
biggest difference is that you will need to be on crutuches for several
weeks, usually 3-6 depending on your surgeons preference.
time of non-weightbearing is critical for a successful surgery. You
have to give your meniscus time to heal and for the repair to take. The
biggest mistake people make is putting weight on the knee before it is
Remember, the meniscus sits between the femur
and is there to provide shock absoprtion. When you put weight on your
leg, the meniscus will compress between the two bones. When this
happens, the area that has been repaired can be pulled apart if it
Aside from the time on crutches,
recovery from a
meniscus repair surgery is very similiar to a meniscectomy.
Rehabilitation after surgery is important to restore range of motion,
strength, balance, and endurance. A full recovery occurs around 2-3
months after surgery, depending on how long you are on crutches.
repairs are not as common as meniscectomies, mostly due to the
locations of the tears and their abilities to heal. After surgery you
will be non-weightbearing on crutches for 3-6 weeks, and then begin
working on range of motion, strength, and balance. Full recovery occurs
in 2-3 months. Meniscus repair is a good option for saving meniscus
tissue and for long term knee health.
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