Torn Meniscus Repair (Arthroscopic Meniscectomy)
Each of your knee joints is cushioned by two c-shaped wedges of cartilage. The two cushions in each knee are called the "menisci." Individually, each cushion is called a "meniscus."
Over time, certain repetitive motions, such as twisting the knee, can cause a meniscus to tear. But in many cases, a torn meniscus can be treated with arthroscopic surgery.
What You Need To Know About Torn Meniscus Surgery
What is Arthroscopic Meniscectomy?
Arthroscopic meniscectomy — also known as torn meniscus surgery — is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure used to alleviate pain and treat torn meniscus cartilage. During the procedure, a surgeon uses specialized tools to trim damaged portions of the meniscus. The procedure can vary from small trims to almost removing the entire meniscus.
Only your doctor will be able to advise your condition. Book an appointment now to talk with the experts at Resurgens Orthopaedics now.
Why is an Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair Performed?
Meniscus tears are a common knee injury, especially in athletes or people who use their knees for repetitive motion. Repetitive knee joint motion can cause the meniscus to tear and affect its range of motion. Loose material from the meniscus can cause the knee joint to lock and create extreme pain. If left untreated, the knee joint may go out of alignment.
Depending on your injury, age, symptoms, and lifestyle, your surgeon will perform either a full or partial meniscectomy. During the procedure, a surgeon removes fragments and frayed ends that stick into the joint. The surgeon uses small surgical tools, and a special camera called an arthroscope to access your knee and set damaged meniscus segments free. The surgeon inserts these tools through small holes in your skin that will shorten your recovery time.
Many minor meniscus tears may heal without surgical intervention.
How to Prepare for Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery
Before undergoing surgery, you will need to make an appointment with a physician at Resurgens Orthopaedics. Your physician will examine your joint and determine the appropriate treatment method for your condition. As part of the examination, your physician may ask you to replicate your condition, so be prepared to experience some irritation. Your physician may also take diagnostic screenings to assess the full extent of your condition.
Tell your doctor about any drugs you are taking as they could interfere with your surgical plan. These include any prescriptions, over the counter drugs, vitamins, or other supplements. Tell your doctor about any other conditions that pose complications such as heart or lung conditions, obesity, chronic illness, diabetes, bleeding disorders, or smoking.
Make independent arrangements with a friend, loved one, or professional caretaker provider to drive you home and take care of you in the immediate days following your surgery. Prepare your home by eliminating trip hazards like rugs and cleaning your house.
What Happens During a Torn Meniscus Arthroscopy?
There are many approaches toward arthroscopic meniscectomy, and your physician will choose the best for your condition. However, a general overview of the workflow will involve these steps.
First, you will receive anesthetic in a sterile operating facility. The surgeon creates a few small portals through your skin. Before inserting the arthroscopy, the surgeon will insert a saline solution in your knee. This solution will help improve the visibility of your knee components.
Next, the arthroscope is inserted, and the surgeon examines all structures of the knee, including the kneecap, the menisci, the bones that form the knee, and the cruciate ligaments. As the surgeon finds tears, they release them from the knee cap and shave the remaining meniscus smooth. After this, the surgeon removes the tools and closes your incisions.
Are There Risks Associated with Meniscus Repair Surgery?
Generally, repairing the meniscus is a low-risk procedure, and complications are rare. However, there is no such thing as a no-risk procedure. Some people experience knee stiffness, infections, blood clots, or nerve injury. Your doctor will be able to provide a more in-depth account of risks associated with meniscus repair surgery.
Post Torn Meniscus Surgery and Recovery
Immediately following your surgery, you will recover from your anesthetized slumber in an observation room. A loved one or professional caretaker will drive you home. During the first 48 hours of your recovery, keep the limb elevated and iced. Incorporating light ankle stretches can help reduce the chance for blood clots. During your recovery, make sure you dress your wounds with fresh bandages at regular intervals.
Enrolling in physical therapy will help enhance your recovery. Roughly 4-6 weeks after your surgery, your knee will be ready to resume its full range of strength and motion. Contact your doctor if you notice a foul smell from your incision, swelling in the ankle, calf, or foot, or have difficulty breathing, or elevated temperature.
Get moving again with Atlanta's knee experts. Book an appointment now at one of our 24 Metro Atlanta locations.