What is a Meniscal Repair?
A meniscal repair is a surgery done to repair a torn meniscal cartilage in the knee. The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage that lies between the thighbone to the shin bone. It acts as a shock absorber that protects the bones surfaces of the joint. The meniscal repair surgery may be performed using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques.
How does a Meniscal Tear Occur?
A meniscal tear may be caused by:
- Forceful rotation of the knee
- Rapidly pivoting or stopping suddenly
- Deep squatting
Symptoms of Meniscal Tear
Knee pain and swelling that increases with weight-bearing activity as well as a catching or locking sensation in the knee are common symptoms of a meniscal tear.
When is Meniscal Repair Recommended?
A meniscal repair may be recommended in case of:
- Young or active individuals who maintain an active lifestyle
- Injury to the periphery of the meniscus
- Meniscal tissue of good quality despite the injury
What happens if a Meniscus Tear is left untreated?
An untreated meniscus tear can result in an unstable knee joint that gives way during physical activity as well as significant pain and swelling in the knee that may result in knee arthritis.
Preparing for Meniscus Repair
You will be given specific instructions by Dr. Laxman. In general, you may be recommended to:
- Inform Dr. Laxman of your current medications and allergies.
- Undergo certain tests to ensure you are fit for the surgery.
- Follow Dr. Laxman’s instructions regarding when to stop taking certain medications and food before the surgery.
What happens during Meniscal Repair?
The surgery may be performed under spinal anaesthesia. Small keyhole incisions will be made around the knee through which an arthroscope and special surgical instruments will be inserted. The arthroscope gives Dr. Laxman a magnified view of the inside of the knee. Dr. Laxman will examine the damaged meniscus noting the severity of the tear and quality of the meniscal tissue. The edges of the tear will be smoothened with shaver. Special techniques will be used to improve blood supply to the meniscus. Sutures or other devices will be used to secure the meniscus properly. The incision will be closed and a surgical dressing placed.
Recovery after Meniscus Repair
After the arthroscopic surgery, you can expect to return home on the same day as the procedure or after an overnight stay. You will be given medication to control postsurgical pain and swelling. Use of crutches and a knee brace may be necessary for up to a month after surgery. You will be instructed on how to take care of your surgical incision and physical therapy exercises to be done daily to speed up your recovery. Full return to pre-injury level of activity may take 3 months or longer.
Risks of Meniscus Repair
Meniscus repair is very safe procedure that improves knee stability and function. However, there are minimal risks with this surgical procedure which include infection, bleeding, delayed healing, and failure of the repair.
The meniscus helps to absorb any shock our knees may face in our daily activities. It is no surprise then that the meniscus runs the risk of being injured and torn. However, meniscus repair can restore your meniscus to its former glory and get you back into your daily routine. Below we have answered some common questions surrounding meniscus repair and how Dr Rewat can help you.
What is Meniscus Repair Surgery?
Meniscus repair surgery is a type of arthroscopic surgery meant to repair the torn portion of a meniscus. During the surgery, the surgeon will suture together the torn edges of the meniscus, which then allows the meniscus to heal properly.
It Is Performed Arthroscopically(Keyhole),and is a day care procedure.
What are the Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear?
Symptoms of a meniscus tear can include:
- Popping or clicking sensation
- Knee stiffness
- Inability to fully straighten the knee(Locked Knee)
What are the Benefits of Meniscus Repair Surgery?
The meniscus is responsible for transmitting half of the force the knee is subjected to while straight and 85% of the force the knee is subjected to while bent 90 degrees during daily activities. Meniscus repair can decrease the pressure on the articular cartilage, reducing the chance of arthiritis.
What is the Recovery Process Like?
Recovery from this surgery can take some time as the knee needs to be protected in order for the meniscus to heal properly. That is why the patient is usually instructed to wear a brace for the first few weeks.
Will I Need Physical Therapy?
In most cases, yes. Physical therapy after surgery is used to:
- Decrease swelling
- Regain quadriceps muscle control
Physical therapy can help reduce the amount of healing time.