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The Injury
The meniscus is a circular shaped disc of cartilage tissue that function as a shock absorber between the bones of the knee. The meniscus is frequently damaged in twisting injuries or with repetitive impact over time. When the meniscus tears, a piece of cartilage can move in an abnormal way inside the joint causing pain, catching and swelling. Because cartilage has no blood supply, normal healing does not occur.

Treatment Options
New techniques currently allow the meniscus to be repaired arthroscopically, using sutures or small dissolving tacks, eliminating the need for an incision in many cases.

In cases where the torn meniscus cannot be repaired, the smallest possible amount of tissue is removed, in order to preserve as much cushion for the joint as possible.

In rare cases, where a large portion of the meniscus has to be removed, current techniques allow transplantation of a new meniscus from a cadaver.

Surgery is done as an outpatient, using arthroscopic techniques. Immediate weight bearing is allowed using crutches for 48 hours. Range of motion and physical therapy are started immediately. Bandages are removed after 24 hours and band aids are applied. Stationary bicycling is allowed within a few days.

Results are 90-95% successful, with full return to sports at 4-6 weeks for most surgeries. Complex repairs and transplantations may take 6 months for full recovery.


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San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415-923-0944
Fax: 415-923-5896

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