Meniscus Surgery/ Meniscectomy

What is Meniscus Repair?

Repair of the meniscus is a surgical procedure to address damaged or torn cartilage in the knee. It is commonly referred to as a meniscus repair, surgery or reconstruction. Regardless of the title, the surgery is addressing issues with the thin cartilage of the knee joint.

How do you prepare for a Meniscus Repair?

There are many things that can be done to prepare for any surgery and specifically meniscus repair. Make sure you speak in depth with your surgeon and are comfortable leading up to your surgery. Generally, you will have a physical examination before any surgery to confirm you are well enough to undergo the procedure. This can be done in conjunction with prescribing pain medication for the recovery. Make sure to have any prescription filled prior to.

Some basic things are to not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery. If you develop any health concerns leading up to surgery make sure to let your surgeon know. This could be something as innocent as a cough or elevated temperature.

Why is a Meniscus Repair performed?

A meniscus repair or meniscectomy is done when your orthopedic surgeon feels the injury to the meniscus cannot be treated by non-surgical methods. Also taken into consideration is your age, health, and goal of activity level.

Depending on all of those factors and more surgery may be the best option and can be repaired by stitching, partial or total meniscus removal.

What can you expect during a Meniscus Repair?

Meniscectomy is commonly done under general anesthesia within an outpatient ASC (ambulatory surgery center). You will be very comfortable leading up to and during the procedure. The surgery is usually done through two small incisions. One allows a tiny, tube-like, camera called an arthroscope to be used to give a visual of the surgery. The other is for surgical instruments to perform the cartilage repair.

What is the followup and recovery like for a Meniscus Repair?

Once you recover from the anesthesia, you can go home later that same day. Before you go home, you’ll practice walking with crutches, and your surgeon may ask you to wear a knee brace or splint.Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to control swelling and pain after surgery. In general, it’s important to keep your leg elevated, apply ice to your knee and rest as much as possible.

What are the potential costs for a Meniscus Repair?

Meniscus repair surgery is generally covered by most insurance plans. Please contact our office to make sure your benefits cover the procedure. Our staff will make sure to contact your insurance provider so we can clearly talk about any potential cost you may have to cover.

What are the potential risks for a Meniscus Repair?

Meniscus repair surgery is a surgical procedure. And, as with any surgery, bleeding and infection at the surgical site are potential risks.


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Dr. William Lackey is the founder of Breakthrough Orthopedics, a New York based medical practice that specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques and joint preservation procedures. Learn More »

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