Introduction Meniscal Repair
Meniscus is a circular piece of cartilage (‘c’ shaped’) with its blood supply coming from the outer rim.
Meniscus tears is the most common knee injuries especially to those who play sports. However, meniscus tear can happen to any age.
Why is meniscus repair done?
Arthroscopic surgery can help diagnose the pain associated with meniscal tear and is one of the most predominant forms of treatment when the pain is severe and occurs frequently. The benefits of having meniscus repair:
- If menisci are damaged, the knee can become very unstable and arthritis. The meniscus repair may provide the best treatment to preserve the knee from damaging further and prevent more problem in the future.
- Relief pain and improvement in mobility
- Meniscal repair with arthroscopic surgery is a safe procedure. No much of downtime. It allows patient to maintain daily activities.
How is meniscus repair performed?
- Dr Kevin Yip will perform the meniscal repair with Arthroscopy surgery. During the arthroscopy, Dr Kevin Yip can determine if the meniscus tear can be repaired or to be removed.
- If the meniscus tear is repairable, another incision is made which allows him to repair the meniscus. A meniscus repair involves suturing the torn edges back into place and allowing the meniscus to heal on its own. Only 10 percent of menisci are repairable using this method. In the majority of cases, a partial meniscectomy is required where part of the meniscus is removed and the healthy tissue is left intact. Recovery from a partial meniscectomy is easier, but there are also future risks, such as the development of arthritis.
- Meniscus repair is preferable to removing the meniscus.
- Periphelar menisco-capsular tear (tear on outer edges of meniscus) and meniscus tears vertically can be repaired using arthroscopic surgery leaving the meniscus to heal. Repairs are treated with a combination of sutures that are inserted to treat the torn cartilage.
- Bucket handle tears may require partial removal, depending on the severity of injury.
- Knee arthroscopy and meniscus repair last approximately for an hour.
How long is the recovery period after surgery?
Following surgery, patient will normally be discharged on the same day or the very next day with the bulky dressing over the knee area. The bulky dressing will then be removed clinically 3 days after the surgery.
Recovery time of up to two weeks time for frequent physical therapy and appropriate treating of the knee to ensure a quick return to normal activity. During physical therapy, patients will be taught exercises, in addition to having guided therapy. Patients will continue to receive physical therapy two to three times per week after they are discharged from the hospital. The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the patient’s condition and recovery progress. If a meniscal repair is done, the recovery time and rehabilitation period may be extended – up to six weeks in with or without crutches.