There is no known medicine or therapy that will heal or fix a torn meniscus. It is a mechanical problem that often requires a mechanical solution. This usually means either partial removal or repair of the tear. Removal versus repair is often decided at the time of arthroscopic surgery and will depend upon several factors. patient’s age, the age of the tear, the size and location, as well as the patient’s activity level all play a role in deciding whether a tear can be repaired or must be excised.
In general, due to the essential role of the meniscus in protecting the knee from early arthritis, repair is always preferable to removal.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and it is performed arthroscopically. The knee is evaluated by Dr. Hurbanek in the operating room utilizing a scope (camera) to identify the extent of your injury. If the meniscal tear can be surgically repaired, small stitches are placed arthroscopically. If the tear is not repairable, the minimal amount of meniscus possible is removed so that a smooth, stable joint surface remains.
Occasionally other types of problems are found at the time of arthroscopy such as cartilage damage or fragments of bone or cartilage. These can also be treated at that time. Photographs are often taken of the inside of the knee during the procedure, and a copy is made for the patient for subsequent review. The procedure usually takes about 20-30 minutes, although this can vary depending on numerous factors.