Meniscal Repair

Summary

Meniscus repair surgery is done arthroscopically or through open surgery. It is done when the meniscus becomes torn or injured. The meniscus is the cartilage that stabilizes and cushions the knee joint.

The meniscus repair surgery is performed in an attempt to save cartilage. When successful, it enables patients to have a healthier knee for a longer span of time. However, it is not as common as some of the other related surgeries.

There are many factors taken into consideration when deciding to perform a meniscus repair surgery. However, the tear pattern and location are the two deciding factors for most surgeons. Certain tears cannot be repaired including a horizontal, long-standing, degenerative or flap tear.

Length of the procedure:  1 to 2 hours

Hospital Stay:  Generally, this surgery is done on an outpatient basis.

Recovery before traveling home:  Patients seeking meniscus repair through medical tourism can return home within 24 hours in most cases.

Procedure Details

Your surgery begins with the administration of anesthesia either general or spinal block. The area will be prepped with an antiseptic liquid. Then, the surgeon will begin by evaluating the structures within the knee joint for damage.

When your surgeon isolates the areas of meniscus that need to be repaired they will use small sutures or absorbable tacks to rejoin the pieces. To finish the repair they will reevaluate the meniscus to ensure the repair is sufficient. Then, they will close the incisions with sutures or tape and dress the wound with bandages.

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will spend an hour or two in recovery. Once the anesthesia has worn off you will released. You will be wearing a knee brace or an immobilizer and be given crutches to use for several weeks following the procedure.

To adequately heal after meniscus repair you need a significant amount of non-weight bearing time. It is important to remember the meniscus is essentially the shock absorber of the knee. Any weight placed on the leg can pull apart the repaired meniscus.

In addition to the non-weight bearing time, your surgeon will also recommend some physical therapy. The physical therapy will help you regain your range of motion, balance, strength and endurance. Generally, it takes between 2 to 3 months to fully recover from meniscus repair surgery.

Results

Meniscus repair surgery is successful for most patients. In fact, about 95% of patients who have meniscus repair surgery have a successful outcome. Patients who have meniscus repair report that they have less pain and increased mobility after healing from the procedure.

Risks and Complications

As is with any surgery there are risks associated with meniscus repair surgery. However, it is important to note that the risks are relatively uncommon. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:

  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Arterial damage
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Insufficient Repair
  • Inadequate Healing

Contact your physician if:

  • Bleeding of surgical wound increases
  • Pain increases and is uncontrolled by pain medication
  • Temperature rises about 101.5 and is uncontrolled by Tylenol or ibuprofen
  • Circulation seems to decrease
  • Tingling sensation or numbness occurs in legs feet or surgical area
  • Rash develops
  • Discharge from surgical wound occurs and is accompanied by foul odor
  • Surgical wound feels warm to touch or has warm sensation
  • Fever is accompanied by sweating or chills
  • Pain or swelling in the calf develops
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulty occurs

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