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Meniscal Surgery

Meniscal Surgery

Did you know the thigh bone is connected to the shin bone through two cartilage discs known as the menisci? Each meniscus is a C-shaped disc that acts as a shock absorber for the bones and keeps the knees stable. Unfortunately, this cartilage is prone to tears caused by lifting heavy weights, contact sports, kneeling or squatting. In cases of severe meniscal tears, surgery is typically seen as the best option.

Arthroscopic Meniscal Surgery

Arthroscopic meniscal surgery is aimed at preserving healthy meniscal tissue. By connecting the tissue with blood supply, the meniscus can heal. Meniscal surgery can be categorized as:

Arthroscopic Repair

This involves making small cuts in the knee through which the doctor will insert an arthroscope to enable him to take a closer look at the tear. Small dart like devices will then be placed along the tear to stitch it close. Over time, these darts will be absorbed by the body. This procedure has good results but can take longer to heal as compared to a meniscectomy.

Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy

The procedure involves the removal of a piece of the torn meniscus to allow the knee to function properly. The short term results of this procedure are quite good but it may increase the risk of arthritis in the next 10-20 years.

Arthroscopic Total Meniscectomy

It involves the removal of the entire meniscus. This is typically recommended only in cases wherein the tear is located in a part of the meniscus that does not get blood supply. The meniscus would then need to be replaced. This procedure is usually considered only in cases where the patient is young, active and does not suffer from degenerative conditions that affect the cartilage.

Meniscal surgery is treated as an outpatient procedure. With physical therapy, patients can gain full function of the knee joint within 4-5 months after the surgery. In some cases, braces may need to be worn for a few months after the surgery.


Meniscus repair surgery is considered safe but like any other surgery, it does have certain risks. An injury to the nerves in the skin is the most common complications associated with this surgery. A majority of these injuries are relieved with time. Rarer complications include injury to large nerves or blood vessels and blood clots. Infections and stiffness in the knee are not uncommon but can be treated with blood thinners and the risk can be minimized by ensuring that an experienced surgical team performs the procedure. In cases of a bad infection, a repeat arthroscopy may be performed to remove the infected debris and tissue.

When Is Meniscal Repair Surgery Advised?

A Meniscal repair surgery is considered better than a meniscectomy in cases wherein:

  • The patient is healthy and lives an active lifestyle
  • The patient understands the risks of the surgery and is prepared to undergo the full regimen of physiotherapy for rehabilitation
  • The tear is set in the periphery of the meniscus
  • The remaining meniscus tissue is healthy and of good quality

Consult if you feel pain and swelling in the knee region. Visit www.BangaloreShoulderInstitute.com for more details

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