Partial meniscectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the torn portion of the meniscus from the knee joint. The meniscus is the C-shaped cartilage located in the knee that lubricates the knee joint, acts as shock-absorber, and controls the flexion and extension of joint. Meniscal tears can occur at any age; acute tears are more common in athletes playing contact sports while degenerative tears tend to occur in older patients. These tears are usually caused by twisting motion or over flexing of the knee joint. Athletes who play sports, such as football, tennis and basketball are at a higher risk of developing meniscal tears.
You may have pain over inner and outer side of the knee, swelling, stiffness of knee, restricted movement of the knee, and difficulty in straightening your knee. If conservative treatment such as pain medications, rest, physical therapy, and use of a knee brace fails to relieve pain, surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatment options depend on the location, length, and pattern of the tear with partial meniscectomy being the most common treatment option.
Partial meniscectomy is performed with arthroscopy where several small incisions are made around the knee. Through one of the small incision, a miniature camera is inserted to see inside of the knee. Tiny surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions to repair or remove the tear. During the procedure, the torn meniscus is removed and the remaining edges of the meniscus are smoothed so that there are no sharp ends. Any unstable fragments which can cause locking and catching of the knee will also be removed.
Partial meniscectomy helps in restoring or maintaining knee stability and offers faster and complete recovery. After surgery rehabilitation exercises may help to restore knee mobility, strength and to improve range of motion.
Possible risks and complications of partial meniscectomy include infection, bleeding, and injury to blood vessels or nerves.