Meniscus Repair Surgery
Meniscus repair surgery is the surgery performed to solve the problem related to the meniscal tears. The meniscal tear is present in the menisci or cartilage. It is located in between the tibia and femur bones found in the lower leg. Menisci help to build the stability by distributing the weight of the body evenly on the bones. The nutrients are distributed evenly to the cartilage and tissues, which cover the tibia and femur bones.
Meniscal tear is the tear that could be caused by sudden and unprepared twisting or similar movements, which might be occurred from the injuries and sports. People above 30 and the sports persons, especially playing the contact sports are more prone to these tears. The menisci would usually tear in different ways. The considerations are how the tears look and where the tears have occurred. Usual and frequent tears are parrot-break, longitudinal, bucket handle, complex, flap, torn horn and transverse.
When the meniscus tears, the candidate feels pop in the knee. However, people keep walking and playing though it tears. But the knee becomes stiffer and starts swelling gradually in 2 to 3 days.
The common symptoms are
- Stiffness and swelling
- Severe knee pain
- Sensation felt as ‘giving way’
- Lock or catching of the knee
- Unable to move the knee to its full range of motion
- When treatment is not done in time, piece of meniscus might become loose and may also drift to the joint. The result of it can be pop, slip or lock of the knee.
Doctor Examination and Diagnosis
After the symptoms are discussed clearly and examination of the medical history is done, doctor examines the knee physically. The tenderness and the joint line exactly the place the meniscus sits are checked. Important test conducted for the meniscal tears is the test called McMurray test. The test involves straightening, bend and rotation of the knee. It gives click sound if there is meniscal tear.
another test conducted is the imaging test, like X-ray or MRI.
Treatment of the meniscal tear depends on multiple factors like the size, type of tear and also its location. Other factors considered are the age, level of activity, and related injuries for the plan of the treatment. In the case that the one-third of the meniscus outer area has more supply of blood, a tear present in this red zone could be healed by itself. And if not healed by itself, it needs the surgery. In contrast to this, the two-thirds inner meniscus may lack the supply of blood. When no nutrients supplied through the blood to this tear, this white zone is not healed itself. These are worn cartilages and so are complex tears that look thin. These pieces are not possibly grown back and join together, surgery must be performed to trim away this zone.
- Before the Surgery
Pre-surgical evaluation is done, by checking the medical history of the patient, and thorough discussion happens about the other kinds of medications or other medical complications that the patient, has been going through or had gone through in the past.Before the surgical procedure starts, drugs taken for other medications must be stopped. If the patient has other medical complications like heart disease, diabetes or others like herpes breakout, cold, flu etc., it needs the discussion with the family doctor, or at least thorough check of the medical records are done. Smoking and alcohol must be stopped..
- Surgery Procedure
CL reconstruction procedure is performed using knee arthroscopy. Arthroscopy consists of a camera that is to be inserted into the knee and the surgeon can view the inner view of the knee that is seen over the video monitor. The video helps also to check the tissues and the ligaments present in the knee. Small incisions are made over the surgical site of the knee and the procedure is performed with the following steps.
The ligament torn is removed with the help of the instruments like shaver.
If the tissue considered to be taken is autograft, a larger cut is made and then the autograft is then removed.
Tunnels are made in the bone for bringing the new tissue through the way. The new tissue is then placed at the position of the old ACL.
The new ligament is attached to the bone with the help of the screws or with the help of other devices so that they are held in the right position. The bone tunnels are filled in as and when it heals. It holds the new ligament in the right position.
Once the surgery is completed, the incisions are then closed with the sutures and the surgical area is then covered with dressing. The pictures of the inner parts of the knees can be shown to the patient, after the procedure is completed.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
After the surgery is performed, knees are kept in brace or cast. It helps the knee to keep moving. After the surgery, weight must be kept away from the knee and the patient has to use the crutches for about one month.
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