Torn knee cartilage can be painful and cause swelling in the knee joint. The symptoms are exacerbated when the knee pivots, or is used to squat or for vigorous activities. Under certain conditions, the knee may “lock” and become unable to fully bend or extended. At Mattalino Orthopaedics, we advise our patients to address tears of the meniscus in the first two months following injury. Doing so increases the chances of optimal results. Meniscus repair is an elective out-patient surgical procedure designed to repair torn knee cartilage.
The Goal of Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair
The goal of the procedure is to preserve any healthy remaining meniscus tissue. A meniscus tear requires blood flow to promote healing. However, the blood supply needed for healing the tear is available only in the third portion of the meniscus. Any repairs made are generally limited to that peripheral region.
How Soon Should I Schedule Surgery?
It is important to attempt to schedule your surgery within two months after your meniscus is torn. Walking on a knee that locks may injure the meniscus more and cause permanent damage. Until surgery, activities like squatting should be avoided to lower the risk of locking occurring.
Fortunately, meniscus repair is an elective procedure. This means you will be able to have the surgery when it works best for you. You will need someone to help you at home for a few days following your procedure. Physically, before your surgical day:
- Your knee should be sore and scratch free
- Your knee should not be shaved on the day of or prior to surgery
- Slow or stop smoking prior to surgery
- Delay all flights for the first five days following surgery
- Delay all dental work for six weeks following surgery
What Can I Expect Following Surgery
We recommend that movement in the operated knee remain at a minimum for at least 2 weeks. Running or squatting should be avoided for a few months, or further damage could be done to the recently repaired knee. One of the benefits of repairing a torn meniscus is a greater chance of preventing future possible complications such as osteoarthritis. We do not recommend you drive until you are both comfortable and off of any prescribed narcotic pain medications.
For more information on meniscus repair or to schedule a consultation, please contact Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ today!