What is arthroscopic meniscus repair?
Arthroscopic meniscus repair is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to repair a damaged meniscus. An arthroscopic procedure involves the use of an arthroscope, which is a small camera device. Through small incisions, a surgeon is able to repair the meniscus. The use of an arthroscopic technique can often result in a faster and smoother recovery period. They are often conducted as outpatient procedures, allowing the patient to recover at home the same day of surgery. Meniscus injuries are some of the most common knee injuries. The menisci are rubbery disks that help to cushion the knee joint. The lateral meniscus is on the outside of the knee and is more mobile. The medial meniscus is located on the inside of the knee and is more commonly injured. The menisci provide joint stability and contain thick outer edges and thin inner surfaces that create a cup for the femur to comfortably rest in. While often occurring due to sports, meniscus injuries can happen at any age or activity level. Tears to the meniscus can be the result of injury or degenerative changes. Common meniscus tears include radial, bucket handle, and flap tears and can involve more than one pattern. They can also be labeled as complete or incomplete, and stable or unstable. Symptoms of a meniscus injury can include pain, swelling, catching or locking of the knee, a “giving way” sensation, and movement or range of motion irregularities. Patients may also feel a pop when they tear their meniscus. While patients may be able to walk on the knee initially, the knee will become stiff and swollen over time.
What is an arthroscopic meniscus repair procedure like?
Using miniature instruments and a small camera inserted through tiny incisions on each side of the knee, a surgeon will inject a fluid to create a clear view of the joint and expand the space. The surgeon will then assess the meniscus and determine the tear type, its location, and the extent of treatment required. The surgeon will reshape the frayed edges of the meniscus. The torn edges will then be rejoined using various repair methods, which may involve sutures and anchors. Any remaining debris will then be flushed from the joint, the incisions will be closed with sutures, and a dressing will be applied. The knee will also be wrapped with a bandage. Post-surgery, patients usually attend physical therapy in order to regain optimal mobility.
Do you have an injury that could benefit from this surgical technique? Contact the specialists at Mobility Bone & Joint Institute to learn more about treatment options.