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Meniscectomy: Information on procedure, risks, complications and preparations

  • Posted on- Aug 02, 2016
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Meniscectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a torn meniscus, within the knee. The knee joint has two cartilage discs, called meniscus, which help in reducing friction between the bones of the knee joint and disperse weight evenly during movement. The Meniscectomy procedure involves the knee and all surrounding parts of the knee.

What are the reasons behind a meniscectomy surgical procedure?

A Meniscectomy surgical procedure is performed for the following reasons:

How a meniscectomy surgical procedure is performed?

  • The procedure may be performed under general or local anaesthesia
  • The orthopaedic surgeon uses an instrument, called an arthroscope, to perform the procedure
  • This instrument has a tube fitted with a camera and it is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision, to visualize the joint structures. Other surgical instruments may be introduced through small incisions
  • The damaged meniscus is either removed partially (Partial Meniscectomy) or completely (Total Meniscectomy). The edges of the remaining meniscal tissue are shaved to make them smooth
  • After removing the instruments and the arthroscope, the skin incisions are sutured

An orthopaedic surgeon performs a Meniscectomy procedure. It usually takes 2 hours to complete the procedure.

Preparations needed before a meniscectomy surgical procedure

  • The physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are being currently taken
  • Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time, before the procedure is performed
  • Blood tests may be performed to determine if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
  • Inform the physician if you are allergic to any local anaesthetics, lidocaine, etc
  • Avoid application of any cosmetics, deodorant, or topical medicines on the area, prior to the procedure
  • It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine based products, for a while, before the surgery
  • Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed
  • The patient must avoid eating or drinking at least 8 hours prior to the surgical procedure, depending on when the procedure is arranged
  • For persons suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range if not their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin or a combination of oral medicines

Diagnostic lab tests needed before a meniscectomy surgical procedure

Before a meniscectomy procedure, the patient has to undergo certain tests, such as:
  • Routine blood and urine analysis
  • X-rays of the affected knee
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Arthrogram: A procedure, in which a dye is injected into the joint, to visualise the insides of the knee joint

Risks and complications during meniscectomy surgical procedure

The possible risks or complications that may arise during the meniscectomy surgery are:

Risks and complications after meniscectomy surgical procedure

The possible risks and complications that may arise after the meniscectomy procedure are:

Post-operative care needed after a meniscectomy surgical procedure

At home, the following post-operative care is recommended after a meniscectomy procedure:
  • Slowly resume daily activities as soon as possible, which aids in faster recovery
  • Begin using crutches or a cane, under the direction of your physician. Avoid standing for extended periods of time
  • Use a heat pad or warm compress to relieve pain, due to the incision
  • Apply ice to the knee approximately 4-5 times a day, in order to decrease swelling within the knee
  • Elevate legs while resting, to prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce the possibility of swelling. At night, keep the affected leg elevated, under a pillow, which can help decrease any additional pain and swelling
  • Follow rehabilitation procedures and physiotherapy to hasten recovery
  • Resume showering and keep the wound clean and dry. Gently wash the surgical wound with mild or unscented soap
  • Replace the dressings on the surgical wound after showering
  • Complete the course of prescribed medication, as advised by your physician
  • Individuals may take medication to relieve pain, under the physician’s advice
  • Avoid all activities that are physically strenuous for 4 weeks, after the surgery
  • Resume driving 3 weeks after being discharged from the healthcare facility (or as advised by your physician)
  • Individuals are advised to have to clear liquids immediately after the surgery, until the gastrointestinal tract begins functioning properly. Then, the individuals are advised to have a well-balanced diet, which can aid in a faster recovery


user profile image
02-07-2017 09:32 AM

My knee got hurted in an accident. Would like to book an appointment with a doctor from Lazoi.

user profile image
30-10-2016 02:46 AM

I had gone through meniscectomy, that is a very painful process but the post operational results are quite fine.

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