The meniscus is an essential shock absorber in the knee, and each knee has two menisci. They are C-shaped structures of specialized cartilage that protect bone and aid in stability of the knee. However, a twisting injury can tear one or both of your menisci, compromising their essential function.
Spontaneous healing after a meniscus tear is rare and most people require surgery to repair or remove the torn portion of the meniscus. Whenever possible, meniscus repair is a superior option as meniscus removal (meniscectomy) increases the chance of developing arthritis later in life. Fortunately, meniscus repair has become much more reliable as techniques and technology have advanced.
Dr. Pace is adept at all different techniques for meniscus repair and he performs this routinely for his active patient population. The procedure is routinely done arthroscopically and at most may require 1-2 small incisions on the knee that are in addition to the standard arthroscopic portal incisions in the front of the knee.
Although the recovery period after meniscus repair is longer than after a meniscectomy, the benefits of meniscus preservation far outweigh any short term benefits that come with meniscectomy. After successful repair, patients are typically allowed to return to impact activities such as running 3 months after surgery.
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