What is Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery?
The knee is composed of a number of important structures, including the meniscus. The meniscus is a form of tough, rubbery cartilage that serves as a “shock absorber” between the tibia (shinbone) and the femur (thighbone). The two wedge “c” shaped pieces of cartilage can sustain damage from repetitive overuse, degeneration from aging, or an injury. A torn meniscus can cause pain, swelling, catching and locking symptoms of the knee. Meniscus tears may require arthroscopic meniscus surgery to restore function and diminish pain in the knee. Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California orthopedic knee surgeon, Dr. Jervis Yau is available to help patients suffering from meniscal pathology.
The overall goal of meniscus surgery is to improve knee function. Repairing a torn cartilage can decrease the risk of developing future osteoarthritis.
Do I Need Meniscus Surgery?
Dr. Yau will perform a thorough physical examination and use various diagnostic tests to determine the precise location and pattern of the tear. If the MRI scan displays a stable tear, Dr. Yau will likely recommend conservative treatment modalities including rest, activity modification and physical therapy. Minimally invasive surgery aimed at repairing or debriding the torn meniscus is recommended for larger unstable tears that generally do not respond well to nonoperative treatment.
How is Meniscus Surgery Performed?
Commonly, Dr. Yau will perform partial meniscectomies in patients with symptomatic tears that are not amenable to repair based on location or tear pattern. Dr. Yau will carefully remove damaged or unstable meniscal tissue while protecting as much of the native meniscus as possible.
Arthroscopic meniscal repair are typically performed for larger, peripheral tears where there is adequate blood supply for repair. During these procedures, Dr. Yau will place strong sutures through the tear in order to repair and stabilize the tear.