Having healthy knees is vital to carrying out day-to-day chores. Our knee is the largest joint in the body and comprises three parts: the femur, tibia, and patella. The femur is the lower end of the thighbone. The tibia is the upper end of the shinbone, and the patella is the kneecap. A smooth substance known as articulate cartilage protects the limitations of these bones and allows the leg to move.
Between the femur and tibia, c-shaped wedges, aka menisci, act as “shock absorbers” that shield the joints. Not only this, there are large ligaments that hold the femur and tibia together and provide strength and stability to the knees. A synovial membrane covers all the left sections of the knee. This membrane is a thin lining and releases a fluid that polishes the cartilage, lessening the friction in a healthy knee.
These components work in accordance. But, if it gets infected by some disease or injury, the outcome will be painful, and the muscle will get weak and diminish its functioning.
Meniscus repair is a surgical treatment that mends torn cartilage in the knee. This repair is done by various invasive techniques and demands postoperative shielding and physical therapy that plays a critical role in healing. The surgeries done in Meniscus repair are the outpatient type where the patient can go back home on the same day.
The meniscus repair is needed to preserve the healthy meniscus tissue. To heal the meniscus tear, a blood supply is required. Without enough blood supply, many tears arise in the meniscus region. The blood supply is present in the outer third part of the meniscus. The surgeon only repairs this part of the meniscus.
There are two types of Meniscus repair procedures:-
Surgical: Arthroscopic meniscus repair is a modern surgical ability that should be carried out by an orthopedic surgeon. This surgery is generally performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical center experienced in performing many arthroscopic knee surgeries.
After opting for surgery for the meniscus repair, the surgeon may take some tests before proceeding further. These tests are blood tests, chest X-rays, and electrocardiograms that can assist in deciding whether the patient is healthy enough for the surgery. The team will also choose what type of anesthesia will be given to the patient before the surgery.
The following are the things that the doctor will do a few days before the surgery:-
The doctor will direct the patients with medications to control the discomfort after the surgery. The doctor will make appointments for physical therapy. Not only this, but the doctor will also educate the patient on how to make themself ready for the surgery. The surgeon can ask the patient to avoid taking specific medications and ensure that the patient does not consume anything for some hours before the treatment.
After injecting anesthesia, the surgical team cleansed the skin on the knee. It covered the rest of the leg with the help of a surgical drape. To assist with positioning during the surgery, the surgeon and team can divide a clamp on the upper thigh. The surgeon creates tiny cuts in the knee and plenty of the joint with a sterile fluid. The fluid then controls the minor bleeding and wipes the debris. This will make the inside of the joint visible through which the surgeon can examine it. In that tiny cut, the surgeon implants a thin tube with a small light and mini video camera at the end. It will project the image onto the check through which the surgeon can see the tear and implant a small device on the tear to sew it up and then over time the body will absorb it.
As the meniscus repair surgery is an outpatient procedure, the patient can go back home on the same day after the surgery. Although to wear off the anesthesia the patient will be asked to stay in a recovery room. The patient requires someone who can drive them home after the doctor allows them to go home.
Medications: Although, medications do not help boost the healing and have not been documented. But to reduce the swelling and pain symptoms that happen during meniscus tears, anti-inflammatory medications are usually given either through the knee or by mouth.
Exercises: To reduce swelling and restore normal muscular control of an injured knee, quadriceps strengthening exercises can be the choice. These exercises are beneficial to lessen the symptoms and race the rehabilitation.
Dr. Darsh Goyal is a renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon who has experience of two decades in knee and shoulder surgery. He has worked in some of the finest hospitals across the globe. He has treated more than nine thousand patients. Dr. Darsh has received training from some of the most respected institutes worldwide - NHS England, Hss New York, USA, and Munich, Germany. He has written many books and international papers. Dr. Goyal’s Bones & Joint Centre is among the best centers for advanced Arthroscopy/Laser Surgery for knee and shoulder and Fast track Total knee Replacement.
Q1) Is it better to repair or remove the meniscus?
Generally, doctors preferred meniscus tear repair over meniscus removal. The reason behind this preference is that when the meniscus is mended and preserved, the patients are likely to experience better long-term joint function and healing.
Q2) Is meniscus surgery a major surgery?
Meniscus surgery is an outpatient surgical treatment for repairing torn knee cartilage. The torn meniscus is restored by many slightly invasive techniques and demands postoperative preservation that concedes the healing.
Q3)Can you walk immediately after meniscus surgery?
Walking right after the surgery is not advisable. Your recovery time entirely depends on the kind of meniscus surgery and how severe your injury is. At least wait for two weeks.
Q4)How long does a meniscus repair take to heal?
The meniscus repair takes time to heal, from six weeks to three months.
Q5)What happens if you don't repair a torn meniscus?
If you don’t repair a torn meniscus, it can result in the unraveled edge getting trapped in the joint. This will be the outcome in swelling and pain. Later as you grow old, it can also end in long-term knee issues.