Not all meniscal tears are the same. Some tears occur in part of the meniscus that has a good blood supply and therefore are amenable to repair because they have good healing potential. However other types of meniscal tear may not be repairable because their pattern or location may mean that they won't heal. In this situation any attempt to repair the meniscus may have an unacceptably high chance of failure, resulting in prolonged patient symptoms and further surgery. When such meniscal tears are identified a decision to remove the unstable portion of the meniscus is made (menisectomy).
Because the meniscus plays an important role in contouring the joint and as a shock absorber, trying to preserve the meniscus by performing a meniscal repair is important providing it has good healing potential. This decision is often made at the time of surgery once the tear has been fully visualised.
Mr Craik offers private knee meniscal repair and menisectomy surgery at Ashtead Hospital in Surrey. These procedures are usually performed as a day case whereby you will go home on the same day after your surgery.
Meniscal repair involves important steps to promote healing and placing sutures along the length of the tear. The suture repair may need to be protected from excessive tension whilst healing takes place and therefore you may be required to wear a brace after your surgery that limits the amount of bend of your knee. Usually this is continued for 6 weeks after which a full range of movement is permitted. Patient will typically be allowed to fully weight bear immediately after surgery but may require between 2 to 4 weeks off work depending on their usual activities.
MENISCAL RESECTION (MENISECTOMY)
If the meniscal tear is not repairable then the unstable portion of the meniscus is removed. This is called a menisectomy. The aim of a menisectomy is to remove the unstable portion of the meniscus that is causing symptoms whilst preserving as much of the stable meniscus as possible. Preserving the stable portion of the meniscus is important due to the significant joint contouring and shock absorbing function of the meniscus in preserving long term knee health.
When recovering from an arthroscopic menisectomy patients typically will be allowed to fully weight bear and have an unrestricted range of movement. They may require between 2 to 4 weeks off work depending on their usual activities.