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Meniscal repair surgery

Repairing the knee's shock absorber

A meniscus tear is an injury to the cartilage in the knee, which causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint. You might feel a pop when the injury happens, or the knee might feel as if it is locking or that you’re unable to fully extend it. If you’re an athlete, this injury can be devastating, so it’s good to know there are now surgeries available that can help you get back on your feet.

If you are experiencing knee pain, talk to an expert. With short waiting times, our specialist Knee Surgery Unit can provide faster access to exceptional diagnostics and treatment.

Specialists in complex knee issues

Support at every step, from diagnosis to rehabilitation.

World-class consultants

The knee is a complex joint, so it’s best to talk to a specialist about your concerns. At Sulis Hospital Knee Surgery Unit, our internationally recognised surgeons use the latest surgical techniques and technologies to deliver outstanding patient care.

State-of-the-art facilities

With diagnostics on-site, plus theatres featuring the latest robotic-assisted technology, everything about your experience at the Knee Surgery Unit is designed to fast-track your treatment and enhance your recovery.

Support beyond surgery

Recovery from meniscal tear surgery takes time. Our team of expert physiotherapists and occupational therapists are here to support your rehabilitation with exercise programmes designed to enhance your recovery.

Meniscal repair surgery questions answered

A meniscus tear can be caused by a sudden twisting in the knee or through small tears that happen over time. You might experience an injury to the medial meniscus (inner side of the knee) or lateral meniscus (outer side). More injuries occur in the medial meniscus than the lateral, as it is attached to the medial collateral ligament, which doesn’t allow for as much movement.

Treatment for a meniscal tear depends on the size, location, and type of injury, as well as your individual needs.

The meniscus is a c-shaped disk in the knee that acts as its ‘shock absorber’. Each of your knees has two menisci and they are found at the end of the tibia.

Meniscus tears are more common amongst sports players and older people. A tear is usually caused by a sharp twist, rotation or change in direction, or when the knee bears weight, for example during a jump. It can also be caused by the progressive degeneration of the knee joint due to osteoarthritis.

Meniscal repair surgery is a minimally invasive (keyhole) procedure to repair the torn cartilage in the knee. Your surgeon may also discuss meniscectomy, partial meniscectomy or meniscal replacement:

  • During a meniscectomy, the aim is to smooth the damaged area to prevent further damage. In a partial meniscectomy, the surgeon will remove as little of the damaged meniscus as possible.
  • Meniscal repair surgery involves carefully stitching the torn pieces of the meniscus back together again. This type of surgery is usually better suited to younger patients, as the aim is for the meniscus to heal itself.
  • During meniscal replacement surgery, the damaged cartilage is removed and replaced with a donor transplant.

If you are experiencing pain in the knee, you will need to book a consultation before a diagnosis can be reached. This will involve a physical examination, but you might also need an MRI or X-Ray. Your consultant to grade the tear and advise on whether surgery is the right treatment option for you.

For some patients, non-invasive treatments such as pain management or braces may be suitable. In addition, not all tears can be fixed with surgery. Your consultant will discuss the best course of action for your specific symptoms, overall health, age and goals.

Our dedication to patient-focused care ensures you’re fully prepared ahead of any procedure. Your consultant will let you know if there is anything you might need to do ahead of your surgery.

For example, you won’t be able to drive home, so you will need to arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up. Depending on the type of surgery you are having, you may need to stop taking certain medications or go without food on the day of your surgery. There may also be exercises you can do to promote a faster recovery.

This depends on the type of surgery that you have. Most patients are able to return home on the same day or the day after their surgery.

The recovery time for meniscal repair surgery tends to be longer than for a meniscectomy. For the first couple of months after surgery, you will be on crutches and may require a brace. This is to protect your knee from bearing too much weight. Your physiotherapist will advise on the exercises that are safe to do during this time to strengthen the knee and protect against further injuries.

Meniscal repair surgery generally has good outcomes, but there are risks associated with every surgery. Complications can occur due to the anaesthetic and lack of activity after surgery. These can include blood clots and reduced nerve sensation in the bladder. Your consultant will discuss any risks with you ahead of the procedure.

Meniscal repairs can fail, and transplants can be rejected by the body. If this happens, it’s likely that further procedures will be required. In addition, once you’ve had a knee injury, you are more likely to have another, but there are exercises you can do to mitigate against this. Your surgeon will discuss this further with you during your consultation.

You may be covered by private medical insurance, or you may wish to consider spreading the cost of your surgery by opting for a monthly payment plan.

We aim to make our costs as transparent as possible, but it’s important to talk everything through in detail with your consultant at the time of your appointment. Some costs may be paid directly to the hospital, while others, such as your consultant fees, may be paid directly to the consultant.

A tear in the meniscus can prevent you from doing the sports you love, or even halt your career. That’s why we offer investigation, diagnosis and surgery for knee pain with short waiting times.

At our specialist unit, you’ll benefit from the combined expertise of world-class surgeons, skilled nurses and dedicated physiotherapists. They are all highly experienced at working with knee patients and will support you in getting back to the activities you love.

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

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