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What is Meniscectomy?
Meniscectomy is a surgical procedure in which a part or the entire torn meniscus that causes pain and interferes with knee activity is removed or repaired. Meniscectomy is performed by an orthopedic surgeon.
How is Meniscectomy Performed?
Meniscectomy is performed either by an open surgery or by an arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is more prevalent; however, an open surgery may be performed if it is difficult to find the torn meniscus or if adhesions are present.
Open Surgery Meniscectomy
- An arthroscope and a few surgical tools are inserted into the knee joint through tiny incisions.
- An injection is given into the knee to enlarge the joint to provide a better view.
- The knee is thoroughly examined to find the tear and any other injury along the interior curve of the meniscus.
- The damaged portion of the torn meniscus is removed in a partial meniscectomy.
- Tears along the external curve of the meniscus where there is a high amount of blood supply is stitched and repaired.
- Any parts of cartilage that are avascular are also removed.
- The arthroscope and the surgical tools are withdrawn.
- The incision is closed with sutures.
How to Prepare for Meniscectomy?
- An open incision is made on the knee joint to view and treat the internal structures.
- The torn meniscus is removed and additional damaged structures are repaired.
- The incision is closed with sutures or clips.
- The patient is given full information about the surgical procedure.
- The patient is physically examined to ensure that the patient is in a good condition to go through the surgery.
- Physical therapy may be started so that the patient’s pain, activity levels, and knee strength are recorded. Accordingly, the patient is required to learn the exercises that need to be done after the surgery. During physical therapy, the patient will also learn how to use crutches or a walker.
- The patient should inform the doctor about any ailments or medical conditions.
- Smoking should be stopped at least a couple of weeks before the surgery to ensure quick healing and a successful result.
Partial arthroscopic meniscectomy is done as an outpatient procedure.
Open surgery meniscectomy may require hospitalization for 1 to 2 days.
General or spinal anesthesia
- Most patients who are recovering from arthroscopic meniscectomy can begin to bear weight in 1 or 2 days after the surgery.
- The sutures are removed after one week.
- Patients may be able to do all activities after 2 to 4 weeks.
- Recovery varies from patient to patient. This depends on the severity of the injury, type of surgery, the overall health of the patient, and the preference of the surgeon.
- Physical therapy exercises will help the patient to recover sooner and improve the strength and motion of the knee.
- Nerve injury
- Degeneration of knee joint due to the removal of a large amount of tissue
- Blood clotting
- Blood vessel damage
- Severe pain
- The patient should avoid all kinds of strenuous activities for many weeks after the surgery.
- Activities like kneeling, crawling, squatting, etc. should be avoided for a couple of weeks after the surgery. For some patients these activities may be permanently restricted.
- The patient should follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.
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