Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair

The Meniscus

The knee joint is a hinged joint designed to bend and straighten. It joins the femur and tibia with a kneecap and the joint is held together by cartilage, ligaments and tendons.

The meniscus is a firm, flexible cartilage disc that sits between the two leg bones. It acts as a shock absorber and provides stability to the joint.
There are two menisci in each knee – the lateral (outside) and the medial (inside) menisci.

Arthroscopic meniscus repair

Meniscus Injury

A meniscus injury is any damage to this cartilage disc. Meniscus tears are the most common type of knee injury and can range from a partial tear to a complete rupture. The most common types are called bucket handle, flap or radial tear.

The injuries can happen suddenly (with a twisting-type mechanism) or over a sustained period due to repetitive actions and degradation of the cartilage.

Surgical Treatment

Meniscus tears are extremely common and can be successfully treated with most patients making a full return to function.
The type of treatment will depend on various factors such as your age, symptoms, level of activity, and the extent and type of injury.
Minor tears will often not require surgical intervention and can be treated with ice, compression and rest along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Severe tears, or those that do not heal and are causing physical disability such as knee locking or clicking and swelling, may require surgery.

Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair

Arthroscopic meniscus repair involves passing sutures or special fixation devices into the knee under arthroscopic control. There are various techniques possible which are determined by the type of tear.

During the procedure you will be under general anaesthetic and your knee will be injected with local anaesthetic. After discharge the local anaesthetic will wear off and you may require additional pain relief with simple paracetamol.

Protection of the knee in the post-operative phase is very important. You may be required to wear a brace for 4 weeks post-surgery to restrict the movement of your knee.

If you have any concerns about your dressings or wounds please call our rooms on (03) 4216 5294. For more information about post-operative care see our Knee Surgery FAQ fact sheet.

This page can be downloaded as a fact sheet here.