In many cases when non-surgical meniscus tear treatments do not work, doctors determine that surgery is the best option for treating a torn meniscus. Depending on your age, activity level, and size and location of the tear, the orthopedic surgeon will choose the best surgical path to repair the torn meniscus. Surgeries for meniscus tears range from repairing the torn section, removing the torn section, removing the entire meniscus, or even meniscal transplantation in some cases. Most meniscus surgeries are done using arthroscopic techniques through a small incision. All meniscus tear surgeries work best when done within 2 months of the injury.
- Meniscectomy: This is the most common surgery used to repair a torn meniscus. During this time the orthopedic surgeon uses arthroscopic techniques to go in and remove the torn section of the meniscus. This is done through one or a series of small incisions. If the tear is large enough, the doctor may decide to remove the entire meniscus. This is especially true in older patients or patients who are not very active.
- Meniscus Tear Repair: During this meniscus surgery, the doctor uses arthroscopic techniques to repair the torn section of the meniscus. This technique is most successful is patients under forty when the tear is on the outside of the meniscus where there is the most blood flow. The doctor will sew and repair the torn meniscus.
- Meniscal Transplantation: In some cases, patients may be eligible to get a meniscus transplant and have an entirely new meniscus inserted to replace their torn meniscus. The new meniscus usually comes from a cadaver and is reserved for patients who are young, active, and/or have tried all other torn meniscus remedies.