What is a meniscus tear?
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your femur (thighbone) and your tibia (shinbone). A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. In the younger population, meniscus tears are typically the result of traumatic sports injuries, by twisting on a slightly flexed knee. In the older adult, a meniscus tear may be due to age-related degeneration of the meniscus or from wear-and-tear over time.
How do I know if I need meniscus surgery?
Dr. Potts may recommend surgical treatment of your meniscus tear if:
- You still have pain despite conservative treatments
- Your knee "locks up" instead of working normally
- You are young and want to reduce the risk of future joint problems (osteoarthritis)
- You are an active person and surgery can help restore the full function of your knee
What factors determine the type of surgery I should have?
- Size of the tear
- Location of the tear
- Your age
- Activity level
- Related injuries
What happens during a partial meniscectomy?
If your symptoms persist despite non-surgical treatment, Dr. Potts may recommend minimally invasive knee arthroscopy to help relieve your pain and restore the function of your knee. Commonly, Dr. Potts will perform a partial meniscectomy in patients whose tears are not amenable to repair based on the location or tear pattern. During this procedure, he carefully removes the damaged meniscal tissue while protecting as much of the native meniscus as possible. Unstable meniscus fragments are also removed, and the remaining meniscus edges are smoothed so that there are no frayed ends.