Meniscus tear surgery operation is one of the major ways to treat this knee problem. Joints of knee of a human body are made up of the thigh bone, also known as femur, knee cap, also known as patella, and shin bone, also called tibia. These bones are joined by ligaments, tendons, and cartilages. The articular cartilage caps the edged of these bones while the meniscus acts as a buffer between the moving parts providing cushion and shock absorption. Due to numerous reasons, the meniscus may get damaged or torn. This can occur due to injuries suffered during athletics, sports or even due to wearing off following old age.
The first treatment suggested by physicians towards treatment of meniscus tear is protection, resting, application of ice compression, and elevation of the knee with use of NSAIDs or painkillers. For minor tears, surgery may not be needed and physiotherapy may be adequate to repair the damaged meniscus. However, for bigger tears, surgery remains the only option to repair the damaged meniscus.
Procedures of Meniscus Tear Surgery and Operation
There are different procedures for carrying out meniscus tear surgery. The most commonly used, easy, and more preferred procedure is called arthroscopy. In this, a small incision is made in the knee through which an arthroscope is inserted that contains a camera and a source of light. The orthopedic surgeon monitors the condition of the damaged meniscus on a screen fed by the camera. More such small incisions are made for insertion of surgical implements with which the surgeon may remove the dislodged portion of the meniscus or sew back the tear.
In case of partial meniscectomy, the surgeon also smoothen out the part of meniscus from which a smaller part has torn and dislodged into the knee space. This is followed for minor tears. For more severe damage, meniscectomy may have to be resorted to that involves removal of the entire meniscus.
Allograft Meniscus Transplant Surgery
Surgery to replace meniscus has to be undertaken if the threats to the articular cartilages are grave. In case the patient is fit, less than 55 years old and has been suffering from chronic knee pain due to meniscus injury, allograft procedure is recommended for them. Allograft is an expensive procedure incorporating various sections of medical techniques.
Although this type of surgery has been practiced for more than twenty years but it has failed to gain much popularity because of strict eligibility criteria and the cost involved. Allograph procedure involves extraction of healthy cartilages from donors (cadaver) and subsequently frozen, the extracted tissues are subjected to stringent tests to rule out presence of infectious agents such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Once the healthy tissue has been passed by the American Association of Tissue Banks and the United States Food and Drug Administration, it can be surgically placed within the knee joint. Patient may have to stay in the hospital till his wounds heal and he is able to take few steps independently. Complete recovery may take nearly three months time and follow up visits to the doctor must be continued.