Meniscus Repair

The meniscus serves as a cushioning cartilage positioned between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia), absorbing shocks in the knee joint. In each knee, there are two specific menisci: the medial, found on the inner aspect, and the lateral, situated on the outer part. Tears in the medial meniscus are frequently observed, while tears in the lateral meniscus often occur alongside ACL injuries. Damage to the meniscus can potentially result in progressive degeneration of the knee, known as arthritis.


The meniscus can sustain injury through various means. Sudden twists or pivots can cause acute tears in the meniscus, often associated with ACL injuries. Additionally, as individuals age, the meniscus may undergo degeneration, making it more prone to tearing even with minor trauma, such as twisting the knee while getting into a car.


In cases of sudden injury, meniscus tears can lead to instant pain localized to the affected area of the knee, along with possible swelling, bruising, and restricted movement. Patients might notice a clicking or catching sensation while walking, and twisting the affected foot can intensify the pain. In severe instances where the torn meniscus becomes lodged out of position, the knee may feel locked, a condition known as a bucket handle meniscus.


Your surgeon will conduct a comprehensive examination, including a detailed medical history, physical examination, and X-rays. During the examination, they may observe swelling, limited motion, and weakened strength. If the meniscus is affected, touching the knee may elicit pain. Your surgeon might also perform specific movements to provoke symptoms, such as pain and clicking, indicating a torn meniscus. While X-rays typically appear normal, MRI imaging is valuable for confirming the diagnosis, assessing the tear's characteristics, and aiding in surgical planning. Additionally, MRI can help identify any other concurrent injuries.



Certain meniscus tears can be effectively managed without resorting to surgery. Your surgeon might recommend a combination of anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, cryotherapy, and adjustments in activity to alleviate pain and inflammation while bolstering the muscles surrounding the knee, thereby diminishing the strain on the meniscus. Additionally, your surgeon may propose an injection as part of the treatment plan. However, for patients experiencing persistent symptoms such as pain or clicking, surgical intervention may be necessary. It's important to note that bucket handle meniscus tears typically cannot be addressed through non-surgical means and usually require surgical correction.


In many instances, meniscus tears can be effectively addressed through minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. Your surgeon will assess the size and nature of the tear, as well as the condition of the torn tissue, to determine the most suitable approach. This may involve either removing the damaged portion of the meniscus or repairing it using sutures. However, it's important to note that extensive removal of the meniscus can accelerate the deterioration of joint cartilage, ultimately leading to arthritis. The specifics of your postoperative rehabilitation plan will be determined by your surgeon.