What is an Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair of Knee?
Your doctor has recommended that you have arthroscopic surgery in order to repair a torn meniscus in your knee. But what does that actually mean?
The knee is one of the most important and one of the most complex joints in your body.
It is made up of bone, ligament, and cartilage. Damage to any individual part can dramatically restrict the normal movement of the leg and can even interfere with the ability to walk.
Let’s take a look at the way the knee is put together. The femur, or thigh bone, meets the tibia to create a flexible joint called the knee.
Helping to stabilize the knee are flexible bands of tissue called ligaments.
Protecting the bony surfaces that rub together, are pads of tissue called cartilage.
Cartilage acts like a cushion. Without it, every time you bend at the knee, you would cause the major bones of the leg to grind together.
The meniscus is cartilage that not only protects the bone but also acts like the leg’s shock absorber.
Twisting or bending the knee during sports or even normal activity can damage the meniscus.
Symptoms include swelling, restricted movement, pain and even the inability to stand on the affected leg.
Before your doctor can insert the arthroscope,
the surgical team will inject a clear fluid into the joint. This fluid will inflate the interior space and will help your doctor by providing an unobstructed view.
Once in place. the arthroscope will provide video images, so the surgeon can insert the instruments through one or more small openings.
After inspecting the extent of the damage to the meniscus, your doctor will repair the meniscus with tiny staples,
…or remove it altogether.
Finally, all the instruments are withdrawn and the clear fluid is allowed to drain from the knee.
Following surgery, sterile dressings are applied. To aid in healing, your knee may be stabilized with a brace and you will be encouraged to use crutches during the recovery process.