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Meniscus Repair and Debridement

Meniscus repair and debridement are two different surgical procedures that can be used to treat injuries or damage to the meniscus. There are two menisci in the knee joint. They are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that helps to absorb shock and distribute weight in the knee.

Meniscus repair involves suturing or stitching together the torn edges of the meniscus to promote healing and restore stability to the knee joint. This procedure is typically recommended for younger patients with an active lifestyle and a recent or acute injury to the meniscus. The goal is to preserve the knee joint and prevent the development of knee arthritis.

Meniscus repair may be recommended for tears that are small, not associated with damage to other knee structures, and are located in the outer third of the meniscus which has good blood supply, and therefore are better able to heal. This procedure is not recommended for patients with degenerative meniscus tears, complex tears or significant damage to other knee structures.

Meniscus debridement, on the other hand, involves removing the damaged or torn portion of the meniscus. This procedure is typically recommended for older patients with degenerative tears or injuries that are located in areas of the meniscus with poor blood supply, the inner two thirds of the meniscus, that have limited healing potential. It may also be recommended for complex tears that cannot be repaired.

Degenerative meniscus tears occur over time and are associated with wear and tear on the knee joint. They typically cause significant pain, swelling and other symptoms. Debridement can help to relieve pain, improve function and reduce the risk of additional damage to the knee joint.

Both meniscus repair and debridement are typically performed arthroscopically, using a small camera called an arthroscope to view the inside of the knee joint and specialized surgical instruments to perform the procedure. During the procedure, the surgeon will make small incisions in the knee and insert the arthroscope to view the meniscus. If a repair is being performed, the surgeon will then use sutures or other devices to sew the torn edges of the meniscus back together. If a debridement is being performed, the surgeon will use specialized surgical instruments to carefully remove the damaged or torn portion of the meniscus.

After the procedure, the patient will participate in a rehabilitation program to restore range of motion, and stability to the knee joint. The specifics of the rehabilitation program will vary depending on the individual case and the extent of the injury, but may include exercises, physical therapy, and other treatments as needed.

Dr. Ajay C. Lall is a former dual sport NCAA collegiate athlete (football and track & field), American board certified, triple fellowship-trained expert orthopedic surgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating knee injuries. He treats non-athletes and athletes at all levels of play from collegiate to professional to the Olympic level. Dr. Lall is a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon who cares for all patients like family. Contact LALL Orthopedics + to schedule a consultation, receive the correct diagnosis, and undergo state-of-the-art treatment options.

At a Glance

Ajay C. Lall, MD, MS, FAAOS

  • Board Certified – Orthopedic Surgery
  • Triple Fellowship Trained
  • Performs over 750 Surgeries Per Year
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