Meniscus repair is a surgical treatment for a torn meniscus. The meniscus is one of the cartilages in the knee that provides cushioning and stabilisation. It is commonly torn, often by twisting the knee joint during sport (especially football, netball, basketball, tennis and squash). You can tear your meniscus without playing sport – it can tear from just getting up too quickly from the squatting position. Tears can also develop gradually as you age – these are called degenerative tears.
The size and location of the tear determines which treatments are most appropriate. Some tears may be able to be surgically repaired with stitches or anchors.
How Meniscus Repair Works
Meniscus repair is performed under general or regional anaesthesia (spinal). It is commonly done arthroscopically, although some people need open surgery.
During arthroscopic meniscus repair, your surgeon makes an incision into your knee joint and inserts the tiny camera of the arthroscope. Images are transmitted onto a large screen so your surgeon can clearly see the inside of your joint. Through other small incisions, tiny instruments are inserted and the torn pieces of the tear are sewn together.
Once the tear in the meniscus is repaired, your surgeon may repair other injuries in the knee joint as required. The instruments and arthroscope are removed and the incisions are closed with tape or stitches. Your knee is then bandaged and a cast or splint is usually fitted.
What to Expect After Meniscus Repair Surgery
It’s common to have some swelling of your knee, shin and ankle after undergoing meniscus repair surgery. Try and keep your leg elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling. Pain should be minimal (due to local anaesthesia), but you will be given pain medication as needed.
Before you go home, your therapist will teach you how to walk safely on crutches and some simple exercises to prevent stiffness. These exercises are the start of your post-op rehabilitation program.
About 10–14 days after surgery, the dressing and stitches are removed. At this stage you’ll be able to shower and you may be able to return to office-style work. After the initial healing is complete, your rehabilitation program will start to incorporate strengthening exercises.
Full recovery takes around 12 weeks.
During your consultation, our specialists will discuss your treatment options and provide you with all the relevant information, and should you require meniscus repair surgery at our clinic on the Gold Coast, the final decision is entirely up to you, the patient.
Contact our Specialists to Book Your Consultation
Our specialists offer treatments for a range of conditions, as well as offering care and treatment for knee preservation. At Orthopaedic Clinics Gold Coast we also provide total hip replacements, ACL reconstruction, ankle ligament reconstruction, arthritis surgery, knee preservation surgery and much more. To discuss your treatment options, or to book a consultation, please call us on 1300 399 223.