A torn meniscus can be operated on in two different ways. In meniscectomy, the surgeon removes part of the damaged meniscus to smooth the surface. In meniscal suturing, the damaged part of the meniscus is sutured back in order to achieve healing of the fragments. Suturing the meniscus is only possible if the torn meniscus is close to the base of the meniscus, which is well supplied with blood. © Alila Medical Media
A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee joint injuries. Any accident that leads to a forceful twisting or bending of the knee joint can cause a meniscus tear. The risk of injury is greater the more weight or speed is applied to the knee at the moment of injury. The more the knee joint is rotated inwards and bent into a knock-knee position, the greater the risk of a meniscus injury.
The knee joint has a medial and a lateral meniscus. These are half-round fibrocartilaginous soft tissue structures located between the shinbone (tibia) and thigh bone (femur) and work like shock absorbers. An acute meniscus tear will immediately cause sharp pain, swelling of the knee joint, and noticeable restriction in motion when bending or extending it. Sometimes the knee seems “locked”. On the other hand, a meniscus that has worn over time will gradually cause symptoms such as stress-related pain and the knee will occasionally lock up.
In some cases, a meniscus tear will heal on its own with immobilisation, rest and physiotherapy. When there is chronic pain or the knee locks up, meniscus surgery can help resolve the problem.