Partial meniscectomy

Partial meniscectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat meniscal tears. It involves removing as little of the damaged part of the meniscus as possible in order to smooth the edges of the tear and avoid any fraying which can cause further issues.

How is surgery carried out?

Surgery is carried out using arthroscopy, a type of keyhole surgery using a small telescope like camera to remove or repair the tissues and correct any problems.

After surgery

After surgery you may need crutches to help you to walk however, you will be allowed to fully weight-bear as pain allows straight away. Your knee may be swollen and bruised so you should keep your leg elevated (raised) when you are not walking or exercising. You will be offered painkillers to manage the pain and be given a plan of exercise to promote recovery.

Everyone is different, so healing and post-operative rehabilitation will vary from person to person. Each patient will be assessed and treated according to his or her own progress after surgery. The ward physiotherapist will give you some simple exercises while you are still in hospital to help with your recovery. The exercises aim to get your knee comfortably moving again, strengthen your muscles and aid your circulation.

Once you are able to walk comfortably and safely, both on flat ground and on the stairs, and you have a satisfactory range of movement in your knee, you will be ready to return home.

Are there any risks?

Complications following partial meniscectomy surgery are rare. However, they can include:

  • Infection
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

We take all necessary measures to reduce all potential risks to a minimum. If there are any complications with your rehabilitation your physiotherapist may refer you back to your consultant for a further review and will liaise directly with the consultant about any issues

How long does it take to get back to normal?

The time it takes to recover following partial meniscectomy surgery varies from one person to the next. There are many factors that determine the rate of recovery following surgery and how soon someone returns to their daily lives, these include:

  • Body weight, fitness and strength levels
  • Motivation and adherence to a rehabilitation programme

As an approximation, within 2 weeks on average patients will have full movement of the knee, walking short distances without a limp both on flat ground and using stairs. At 2-4 weeks it is predicted that patients are able to begin low impact sports, for example cycling with minimal swelling in the knee. Finally, within 4-8 weeks a good level of general fitness will be achieved in order to return to sport.

Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.

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Partial meniscectomy is where the damaged part of the meniscus is removed during arthroscopic surgery.

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