Meniscus Tear Surgery
tear surgery is one of the most common types of sports injury surgery.
Meniscus tears are not very good at healing on their own, and even with
rehabilitation and conservative treatment, surgery is often needed.
surgeries can be divided into two different types, a meniscectomy or
meniscus repair. This page focuses on the surgical procedure for
meniscetomy, or meniscus tear removal.
The first step in a meniscus tear surgery is the
arthroscopic evaluation. Even if you have had an MRI, this part of the
surgery is essential to make sure that you actually have a meniscus
tear. MRI results are fairly accurate, but the type of tear, and its
location needs to be evaluated to determine the best course of
Your surgeon will make 2-3
different "portal" incisions in your knee. The most common spots for
these are medial and lateral to the patella, and then another above the
knee cap to the outside of the knee.
One portal is
used for the arthroscope, which is a small camera that allows your
surgeon to look inside the knee joint. The other portal is used for the
tools used during the surgery. The third portal is where the
arthroscopic fluid is pumped in...this keeps the joint clear so
everything is visible.
During the evaluation, all of
the structures will be looked at and probed to find the tear. Your
surgeon will also evaluate:
- The ACL and PCL
- Articular cartilage surfaces
- Medial and lateral meniscus
- Undersurface of the patella
- Femoral groove
the evaluation is complete, your surgeon will know exactly what is
wrong inside your knee, and what needs to be fixed.
the Meniscus Tear
Once the meniscus tear is found, your
surgeon will determine to either remove it, or repair it. This decision
is based on where the tear is located within the meniscus. Tears
located more towards the middle of the meniscus are removed, while
tears towards the outside can sometimes be repaired.
small shaver is used to remove the torn part of the meniscus. It is
best to try and save as much of the meniscus as possible, and so only
the torn sections are removed.
classified based upon how much of the width of the mensicus is removed.
Your surgeon will be able to tell you what percentage of loss you had
after your surgery.
Once the torn section is
removed, the tools and arthroscope are removed, and your portal
incisions are closed with either sutures or staples.
meniscus tear surgery, recovery time will vary depending on your age,
activity level, amount of menicus loss, and any other procedures that
were performed. For most meniscectomies, normal recovery time is about
You may be placed on crutches for a few
days after surgery, or you may be encouraged to walk on it right away.
Rest, ice, compression, and some type of rehabilitation after a menicus
tear surgery is important for a good recovery.
your range of motion, strength, balance, and endurance are all
important parts of a successful recovery.
tear surgery is an effective way to treat a torn meniscus. It usually
involves removing the torn section of meniscus, and a full recovery
takes around 4-6 weeks. Rehabilitation following surgery is important
in order to restore normal range of motion, strength, balance, and
endurance...and to get you off the sidelines.
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