Minimally Invasive Surgery for Your Torn Meniscus

Meniscus Repair Surgery - New Jersey

Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:28 PM — by Aron D Rovner, MD 
Tagged with: Spine Surgery |

A torn meniscus is one of the most common types of knee injuries. It can cause severe discomfort and impaired mobility. In some cases, proper rest and physical therapy are enough to bring relief. However, if these treatments are not effective, Dr. Rovner can perform minimally invasive surgery for your torn meniscus. He will use a microscopic camera to remove or repair the damaged tissues. Surgery is quick and involves little discomfort. Thanks to Dr. Rovner’s complete follow-up care, you will typically be able to return to your full range of physical activities within a few weeks of your procedure. To learn more about meniscus repair surgery, contact our New Jesey practice.

What Is a Torn Meniscus?

You have two menisci in each knee. These C-shaped pieces of cartilage attach to the top of your tibia and provide a cushion between this bone and your femur. Sudden stops and sharp, twisting motions can cause these pieces of cartilage to tear. Sports injuries are a common cause of torn menisci. However, patients could tear their menisci while walking, gardening, or cleaning the house. Athletes and patients over age 65 are at a greater risk for a torn meniscus.

Do You Have a Torn Meniscus?

Symptoms of this type of knee injury include:

  • Discomfort, especially a sudden, sharp pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness and decreased range of motion
  • An inability to straighten your leg out fully

In some cases, symptoms will come on suddenly. In other cases, they will develop gradually. Dr. Rovner will examine your knee and take an MRI to determine what type of knee injury you have. The MRI will help him find the location of your tear.

Do You Need Surgery?

Not all torn meniscus patients require surgery. Dr. Rovner will first treat your injury through a combination of stabilization, ice, and elevation. Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter medications can minimize discomfort. Following this initial recovery period, the doctor may recommend a round of physical therapy. If you do not respond to these conservative treatments, surgery may be the best option.

What to Expect during Your Surgery

Dr. Rovner will insert microscopic camera, called an arthroscope, through a tiny incision. Then he will make the appropriate repairs. In some cases, he may perform a meniscectomy, during which he will remove the torn portion of cartilage entirely. In other instances, he can stitch the two portions of your meniscus back together. Both types of surgery typically take about 20 minutes.

Recovery from Torn Meniscus Surgery

Because Dr. Rovner uses arthroscopic techniques, the recovery from your surgery itself will be relatively brief. The tiny incision will heal quickly, and it will not typically cause much discomfort. In most cases, you can return to most of your normal activities within two weeks of your procedure. However, you will need to undergo several weeks of physical therapy to regain full range of motion. The exact timeframe will depend on the type of surgery you undergo and your body’s natural healing ability. If Dr. Rovner performs a meniscectomy, you will typically need about four to six months of therapy. Recovery from meniscus repair is a bit longer, requiring four to five months of physical therapy. However, whenever possible, it is better to repair torn cartilage, as this will decrease your risk for arthritis in the future.

Learn More about Our Minimally Invasive Treatment

We proudly offer several types of minimally invasive surgery to reduce discomfort and promote faster healing. To learn more about our meniscus surgery and other treatments for knee injuries, contact New York Spine and Sports Surgery today.