How Is Meniscectomy Performed?

When the meniscus suffers a severe tear that cannot be repaired, causing knee locking and ongoing pain, partial or total meniscectomy is recommended to regain proper joint use. The intervention can be performed simultaneously with other procedures, such as an ACL reconstruction that actually improve its chance of success. 

Although open surgery used to be performed in the past, now operating physicians prefer the minimally invasive arthroscopic method to carry out meniscectomies, which favors faster recovery. 

  • Before the operation, patients are sedated using local, regional or general anesthesia to dull their senses and prevent discomfort. 
  • Several incisions are made around the knee, which allows a thin camera (arthroscope) to be inserted, projecting the image on a screen and guiding the operation. 
  • A sterile saline solution is pumped into the joint to provide more space and better access
  • Specialized small surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions to remove torn pieces of cartilage (partial meniscectomy) or remove a heavily damaged meniscus altogether (total meniscectomy).
  • After the affected cartilage has been successfully removed, the saline solution is drained, the instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed and dressed, finalizing the procedure. 

Meniscectomy usually takes about 1 hour to complete if the intervention doesn't include other additional procedures. After their operation, patients are moved to the recovery room and can return home after the effects of the anesthetic wear off

Patients should have a designated driver on the way back; likewise, it's recommended that patients ensure someone helps out with menial tasks in the first 24-48 hours of their recovery.