Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries, especially if you play contact sports like soccer and basketball or enjoy activities that require pivoting. When you come in with a torn meniscus, the exceptional orthopedic surgeons at Ortho 1 Medical Group determine if you need a minimally invasive meniscectomy and surgery to repair the damaged cartilage. Call the office in La Jolla or Chula Vista, California, today or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
A meniscectomy is a surgery to remove part or all of a torn meniscus. The meniscus, a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage between the bones in your knee, cushions the bones and absorbs shock.
Many people tear the meniscus when they twist their knee or suddenly stop running. The cartilage also breaks down as you get older, making it easier to tear the tissues with less force.
After tearing your meniscus, you can experience any of these symptoms:
Your symptoms are usually mild at first but get worse over the next few days.
Your Ortho 1 Medical Group provider orders an MRI to look at the meniscus and determine where and how severe your injury is. The site of the injury is the most important factor.
The inner two-thirds of the meniscus doesn’t have a good blood supply. Without blood, injuries in this area, called the white zone, can’t heal. That means you need a meniscectomy.
The outer third of your meniscus, called the red zone, receives a good blood supply. Tears in this area should heal with rest. However, if you have a large tear on the edge of the red zone or that extends from the red zone into the white zone, you should consider having surgery.
Ortho 1 Medical Group does your meniscectomy using minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. They make a small incision and guide a narrow arthroscope into the knee joint. The scope sends images to a monitor, giving your surgeon a magnified view of the meniscus.
After examining the injury, your surgeon inserts specialized surgical instruments through another tiny incision. They use the instruments to remove the entire meniscus or cut away only the damaged area.
During a partial meniscectomy, your surgeon removes as little cartilage as possible and smooths the remaining edges. Preserving healthy cartilage also helps maintain the best joint function.
Your total recovery from a meniscectomy takes 4-6 weeks. However, you should be able to return to work or school in a few days unless your job places a lot of stress on your knee, and then you’ll need to take it easy for a few more weeks.
If you need treatment for a meniscus injury, call Ortho 1 Medical Group today or book an appointment online.