Menisectomy / Sutured Meniscus

Until fairly recently it was thought that the Menisci were unable to heal if damaged. Now it is accepted that some tears can heal, given the right circumstances and Menisci are now quite commonly sutured (stitched). This holds the cartilage in the optimum position to allow healing to take place, healing takes a minimum of 6 weeks.

If your cartilage has been stitched, you may have some discomfort immediately post-operatively and will require crutches, but this stage should pass fairly rapidly and you will become independent. Some restriction of activity will be required during the first six weeks to allow the meniscus to heal. During this period you will be advised not to bend your knee more than 90 o – this is because greater bend will put stress on the suture line. You may also be asked to restrict weight through the knee by using crutches for a few weeks. In very severe cases you may be asked to wear a splint which will hold the straight whilst you are walking about. The physiotherapist will advise you on this and your exercises and progress them as appropriate.

Return to full normal activities will take 8 – 12 weeks, impact or contact sport may take a little longer.

If the tear in your cartilage is not suitable for stitching, then the loose or torn pieces will be trimmed away. Your post-operative pain and swelling should be minimal and you will be able to return to normal activity as soon as the inflammation has settled.

NB: Post-operative recovery and short term return to sport is much quicker following simple partial menisectomy however, if the tear in the meniscus is suitable for repair, this is much more desirable for the long-term function of the joint.