Consumer Health Blog

Are You Considering Arthroscopic Knee Surgery for a Meniscal Tear?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

If you’re experiencing the following symptoms in your knee, you have probably torn your meniscus (cartilage). You may have done so through contact sports or simply through a wearing thin of your knee cartilage over the years. In either case, consult your physician to determine if you require arthroscopic knee surgery.

Symptoms.

  • Pain
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Catching or locking
  • Weakness
  • Limited motion

Surgical procedure. Today’s minimally invasive arthroscopic knee surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. Not requiring a full opening up of the joint, it has virtually replaced traditional surgery. Using miniature surgical instruments, your surgeon will make two small incisions in your knee. A miniature camera allowing visualization of the interior of your joint will be inserted in the first incision. Your surgeon will insert miniature surgical instruments used to trim or repair the tear into the second incision.

Options. Depending upon the type of tear and integrity of the injured meniscus, your surgeon may choose to trim away tissue (meniscectomy) or suture the torn pieces together (meniscus repair). The latter usually involves a longer recovery time as the tissue must heal back together.

Advantages of arthroscopy over traditional open surgery. This minimally invasive surgery causes less trauma to the connective tissue, therefore reducing your recovery time and increasing the rate of surgical success. Also, because of the smaller incisions, you will experience less scarring.

Arthroscopic knee surgery can be done in an ambulatory care center and does not require an overnight stay.

Recovery. Healing from a meniscectomy usually takes three to four weeks, whereas the recovery period from a meniscus repair may take up to three months. Once swelling has gone down and your healing is complete, your physician will give you an exercise regimen to restore your range of motion and strength. In some cases, physical therapy is prescribed. Most patients return to their pre-injury activities. ______________________________________________________________________________

Surgeons at Abington Surgical Center perform arthroscopic knee surgery. Please contact your physician to discuss whether this procedure is right for you and what, if any, physical limitations may follow surgery.

Need a referral to an orthopedic surgeon?

Please call our Referral Coordinator: 267-960-1440.

Information provided is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.