The two wedge-shape cartilage pieces’ present between the thighbone and the shinbone are called meniscus. They stabilize the knee joint and act as knee “shock absorbers”. Meniscus tear is a common knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A sudden bend or twist in your knee may cause the traumatic meniscus to tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age.
A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling, stiffness, catching or locking sensation in the knee. The patient may be unable to move the knee through the complete range of motion. The orthopedic surgeon will examine the knee, evaluate symptoms, and obtain a complete medical history before suggesting a treatment plan.
Knee arthroscopy is the commonly recommended surgical procedure for meniscal tears. The surgical treatment options include meniscus removal (meniscectomy), meniscus repair, and meniscus replacement. Surgery can be performed using arthroscopy where a tiny camera will be inserted through a small incision. This enables the surgeon to view inside of the knee on a large screen. Surgery will be performed through other tiny incisions, In arthroscopic meniscus repair the torn meniscus will be pinned or sutured depending on the extent of tear. During meniscectomy, small instruments called shavers or scissors may be used to remove the torn meniscus. Meniscus replacement or transplantation involves replacement of a torn cartilage with the cartilage obtained from a donor or a cultured patch obtained from laboratory. This may be considered as a treatment option to relieve knee pain in patients who have undergone meniscectomy.