Meniscal repair

An operation to repair damaged knee cartilage and restore movement in your knee.

What is meniscal repair?

Meniscal repair is a type of keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) to repair torn knee cartilage and help restore movement in your knee.

Between the bones of your knee joint are C-shaped cartilaginous cushions which have a shock-absorbing and stabilising function and also increase surface area.

A tear of this type of cartilage is most likely to occur with a twisting injury. As you get older, repeated heavy lifting, squatting, and kneeling can cause it to wear away. Cartilage has a poor blood supply, so if it is badly damaged, it may not heal by itself.

A torn knee cartilage can result in pain, swelling, stiffness, locking, and limited movement.

Meniscal repair surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep. It usually takes about one hour.

Your surgeon makes a number of small cuts around the knee and inserts a telescopic camera and small surgical instruments. This allows your surgeon to see inside the joint on a monitor and to repair the torn cartilage with a range of procedures depending upon the type and position of the tear.

The small cuts will be closed with dissolvable stitches.

Depending on how you recover from the anaesthetic, you will be able to go home on the day of surgery.

Your knee will be swollen and can be painful for a few days after the operation – painkillers will help to manage the pain.

You will be given a special articulated brace which allows your knee to bend within a defined angle, and you will be given crutches. Range of movement and weight bearing will depend upon the type of tear and how strong the repair is.

You may not be able to put any weight on your injured leg for four to six weeks. We usually recommend that you don’t drive for at least two weeks or until you can do an emergency stop.

We will suggest exercises you can do to help your knee recover and build the strength in your leg.

Once you can put weight on your knee again, you’ll be referred to a physiotherapist to help you regain full movement, balance and strength.

Paying for your treatment

We welcome both self-paying and insured patients.

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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone.