The meniscus in the knee helps the knee function properly by assisting with shock absorption, stability, lubrication for smooth movement, and shields the articular cartilage. If the meniscus becomes torn or damaged, that cartilage can also become worn resulting in more serious problems including osteoarthritis. For this reason, a meniscal transplant using donor tissue is often considered to support and stablilise the knee joint.
We start by making between two small incisions (usually less than 1cm in length), on either side of the knee as we would with an arthroscopy. Depending on which meniscus is being transplanted, we then extend one of the incisions, and make an additional one that is used to insert and attach the transplant. This incision is usually a little longer, up to 5cm in length.
The surgery can be performed under regional (awake but numb from the waist down) but is more commonly done under general anaesthetic (fully asleep) and typically takes several hours.
This surgery requires a hospital stay as short as just one or two days, and you’ll most likely need a brace walker, cane or crutches for four to six weeks. You will need physical therapy and be given a set of simple exercises to help restore your range of motion and strength. Most patients are back to light activities within six months.
Meniscal Transplant Fast Facts
|Standard Procedure Time:||2-3 hours|
|Standard Hospital Stay:||1-3 nights|
|Recovery Time:||3-6 weeks|
|Return to Light Activities:||3-6 months|
|Return to Full Activities:||6 months|