The meniscus is the shock absorber present in the human knee. There is a medial and lateral meniscus and they play a critical role in maintaining the stability and preventing knee wear and osteoarthritis. The meniscus is commonly torn in the human and when this occurs symptoms such as swelling, locking and pain are usually present.
In days gone by meniscus removal formed the mainstay of treatment for meniscal injuries prior to arthroscopy being available. Around 1974 arthroscopy became available in Australia when the Japanese developed fibre-optics. This allowed minimal invasive or “Keyhole” arthroscopy surgery to be completed on the knee and this revolutionised meniscus surgery.
These days we aim primarily to repair meniscus tissue in all cases that are thought to be likely to be successful. Approximately 80% of meniscal repairs do go on to heal but it is certainly not a guarantee.
Limited trimming of the meniscal tissue is also often necessary and trimming of larger amounts of meniscal tissue is also often unavoidable.
Meniscal repair carries with it the hope of saving the meniscus and is certainly the central focus of most meniscal procedures including meniscus surgery.
If meniscus repair or menisus surgery is required then range of motion is limited to 90 degrees for six weeks and a brace is recommended. The brace is usually discarded after four weeks.
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