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Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair and Debridement

  • The knee meniscus is an important cartilage structure
  • It’s function is to support and stabilise the joint
  • An injury to the meniscus of the knee can result in a tear
  • Symptoms may include pain on the sides of the joint (especially pain on the inner side of the knee), swelling, clicking and locking (unable to straighten the knee). Often patients complain only of pain in the back of the leg behind the knee
  • Unfortunately the meniscus has a poor blood supply and may not heal without surgery
  • If left untreated, there is a high risk of developing painful arthritis
  • Surgery is performed arthroscopically (“keyhole” or minimally invasive surgery) – this is associated with faster recovery time and minimal scarring
  • The operation is done as a day case procedure (no overnight stay in hospital) under general anaesthetic
  • The knee meniscus tear is repaired using special sutures. Crutches and a brace are necessary afterwards
  • If a repair is not possible (often the case), the torn fragment of cartilage is removed (partial meniscectomy or debridement). In this case patients can usually put weight on their leg immediately after the operation
  • Return to work is usually possible early after surgery, especially if a debridement has been performed