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Treating Meniscus Problems

The type of surgery you have depends on the nature of your tear. its size and location. Your surgeon may use arthroscopy, a method that involves putting a tiny camera inside your knee, so that your doctor can clearly see your joint. Arthroscopy requires only small incisions (cuts), and you can usually go home the same day as surgery. During surgery, you may have local anesthesia (your doctor numbs your knee with medicine), a regional block (numbing your body from the waist down), or general anesthesia (your doctor gives you drugs to put you into a deep sleep so you do't feel pain.)

Pre-op checklist

  • Don't eat or drink 10 hours before surgery.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.

  • Tell your doctor if you take any medicine, supplements, or herbal remedies.


Top view of tibia showing showing peripheral tear in one meniscus.Repair

For certain tears, your surgeon will try to repair the meniscus. He or she will sew torn edges so they can heal properly. Or your surgeon will use special fasteners to repair damage. In some cases, repairs may require another incision at the back or side of your knee.


Top three-quarter view of tibia showing medial menisci. Medial meniscus has instrument removing tissue.Removal

In most cases, your surgeon will remove the damaged part of your meniscus. The meniscus won't completely grow back, so your doctor will remove as little tissue as possible. Other tissue, called the articular cartilage, will take over the role as shock absorber for your knee joint.


Lower part of knee joint (tibia) with meniscus repaired.

After surgery

You'll spend some time in the recovery area and can go home when you've recovered from the anesthesia. Your knee will be bandaged, and you may have stitches, steri-strips, or staples. You may need crutches to keep weight off the knee and may have a splint for support.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.