When the meniscus is torn in an area with blood supply, especially in younger, non-degenerative knees, our surgeons will suture the meniscus to facilitate healing. Many times, this is performed all-arthroscopic, but some tear patterns require a mini-open incision. Post-op, patients will ambulate with a brace and crutches for a period of time.
Meniscal root repair
The meniscal root serves as the attachment point of the meniscus to the tibia. When torn, the stress across the joint is increased up to 50% leading to premature degeneration and arthritis. Some studies show untreated root tears progressing to knee replacement within 3 years in 30% of patients. As long as there is not significant arthritis, our surgeons reattach the meniscus through a bone tunnel in a technique called meniscal root repair. Post-op, this requires a brace, limited bending (flexion) and prolonged weight-bearing restrictions for 6-8 weeks.
Meniscal allograft transplantation
When the knee meniscus is damaged repetitively, or through a major trauma that renders it irreparable, our surgeons transplant a meniscus from a cadaver. After first performing a diagnostic arthroscopy to assess the damaged meniscus and other cartilage damage, we take measurements and size match the donor and recipient tibiae. We prepare a bony bed in the tibia which corresponds to the bone attached to the cadaver meniscus, and use multiple sutures to position and secure the new meniscus. Post-op, a brace is required, limiting bending to 90 degrees while allowing partial weight-bearing. This technique allows patients to return to low impact activities; we do not recommend return to high impact cutting sports.
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