The meniscus is a rubbery cushion that sits in a C shape around your kneecap and acts as a stabilizer and a shock absorber. A partial or complete tear in the meniscus is a common injury and can cause problems with your knee. Locking, clicking, and catching are common symptoms of a torn meniscus. Most of the time, moderate and severe tears require treatment. There are two main types of treatment offered: repair of the torn meniscus, or debridement. Meniscus debridement is one option of treatment that involves removing the damaged piece.
If you are experiencing locking, clicking, catching, swelling, limited range of motion, and pain at the knee, the cause will need to be determined. Most of the time, a physical examination can positively identify a torn meniscus, but an MRI will determine the severity and location of a meniscal tear, especially if surgery is a reasonable treatment option.
During the Procedure
Debridement, or removing the torn piece of the meniscus, is a common treatment option for those with a torn meniscus that cannot be repaired. Since blood supply to the meniscus is poor, it usually does not heal well on its own, if at all.
Meniscus debridement is performed arthroscopically, which makes it a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. Using an endoscope, your orthopedist will examine the joint and remove the damaged tissue. Rather than one large incision, usually two to three small incisions are needed to perform arthroscopic surgery. Although removing a part of the meniscus means that the remaining tissue is smaller, it is much healthier, and often, the symptoms are relieved.
Recovery time is minimal, with many patients returning to work within a day or two, and their regular activity about four to six weeks after their procedure. Physical therapy is recommended following the procedure to help recovery.
If you are suffering from a knee injury, we can help. Contact our front office to schedule an appointment today. We will discuss your treatment options and can find the solution that is right for you.