One of the most important things responsible for long-term healthy knees is the meniscus. Even so, the knees are subjected to a lot of wear and tear that with time they can get injured or get a tear that will call for meniscus surgery to try and repair the damage. While initially surgeons used to extract the whole affected meniscus, thanks to advancement in technology and to the realization that the complete extraction of an injured meniscus could lead to development of premature arthritis, doctors today focus more on repairing the torn meniscus than on surgery.
There is however other situations that warrant surgery, but even then, great care is taken during surgery so as to ensure the surrounding tissues are not affected. Here are the most frequently asked questions in regards to Meniscus surgery.
1. What should I know before going in for Meniscus Surgery
This is arguably the leading frequently asked question in regards to Meniscus surgery and the reason why it is the leading is because you need to know as much as you can about the surgery as possible. As such, you should sit down and discuss with your doctor and ask whatever questions you could be having and ensure all your worries and concerns are taken care of by your surgeon.
2. How do I prepare for surgery
Once you know exactly what Meniscus surgery is, your next course of action would be to take a thorough physical examination so as your fitness level is established before you go through the surgery. It may also be important to visit your physical therapist before surgery so you can record some information in regards to your condition such as your level of pain prior to the surgery, your ability, or inability thereof to do day-to-day activities such as walking, and the strength and movement of your knees.
The other reason why you should visit a physical therapist is so that you can be mentally and physically prepared for surgery. You see after surgery you might be forced to walk on walkers or crutches for a while so you can give your knees time to heal, and your therapist will teach you how to use such things before the surgery.
3. What takes place during surgery
A tiny incision is made t facilitate arthroscopy i.e. the use of a tiny fiber-optic TV camera known as arthroscope to view and operate inside the knee joints. Note that the knee joint doesn’t need to be opened. Of course the main operation, you will be placed under anaesthesia, before the surgeon makes 2-3 tiny openings on your knee(s) known as portals. It is on these portals that the surgical instruments will be placed to access the torn meniscus.
With that being said, once the affected part of your meniscus is extracted, your surgeon will countercheck your knee to ensure there are no other tears and injuries. The torn edges of the meniscus are shaped and trimmed using a tiny motorized cutter before the portals are finally closed using sutures after a thorough sterilization using a saline solution.