Meniscal surgery is performed on a torn meniscus, often referred to as a torn cartilage, depends greatly on the location of the tear.
The outer section of the meniscus has a good blood supply so surgery in this area can heal well. The inner section has little or no blood supply, so any repairs made to the meniscus in this area will not heal.
Not all meniscal tears require surgery. Depending on the size and location of the tear and your activity levels, your Surgeon may recommend conservative treatments as a first course of action. This can include physiotherapy and/or injections into the knee.
If the cartilage has a tear in the outer section, your Surgeon may choose to repair the tear.
This is usually done using arthroscopic (keyhole) techniques. The tear is either sutured (stitched) or tacked into place. The success of the operation will depend on the size and location of the tear within the meniscus.
Following surgery, the knee is usually protected using a brace and crutches will be used for around one month postoperatively. Your Surgeon will advise you on postoperative care.
If the tear in the cartilage is too close to the centre of the knee, where it has little or no blood supply, or if the meniscal tear is too large, your Surgeon may have to remove the damaged section. Surgical repairs to tears in the inner section of the meniscii will not heal so are not attempted.
The damaged section of the meniscus is removed using arthroscopic surgery. In most cases, the damaged part is removed using a specialised shaver with part of the meniscus being left in place.
Patients do very well following removal of the meniscus and rehabilitation can be started immediately with patients being able to stand within days of the procedure.
Removal of the meniscus is thought to increase the long term incidence of osteoarthritis in the knee. Your Surgeon will discuss the implications of surgery and will advise you on the most suitable options for your condition and activity levels.
To ask a question about the meniscal surgery or to book an appointment, contact our specialist team available Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9am – 1pm. Our knee specialists team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.
If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment.
If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer for authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP. If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.