The meniscus is a piece of shock absorbing cartilage located in the knee joint, between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shinbone). It helps to cushion the joint. Meniscal tears can occur during sport when players may squat and twist or may occur by direct contact. Tears in the meniscus can also be due to degenerating cartilage where the cartilage weakens and becomes thin over time.
Arthroscopic knee surgery may be required to repair the meniscus. Knee arthroscopy is the examination of the knee joint with a thin fibre optic telescope. The telescope is passed into the knee through a small incision on the front of the knee. A camera is attached to the arthroscope which allows the surgeon to examine all areas within the joint. Once the procedure is complete, the small incisions are closed with sutures. The procedure generally takes around 1 hour.
It is a procedure which is used for many reasons, one of which includes the repair of meniscal lesions; others include cruciate ligament reconstruction, the removal of loose bodies and cartilage cell transplantation.
It is a procedure done under general anaesthetic and in most cases is a day only procedure.
It is reasonable to expect a moderate amount of pain in your knee for up to a week after surgery and you should plan to take at least one to two weeks off your regular duties.