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A torn meniscus may not heal on its own as there is a limited blood supply to that area.

Your meniscus is a layer of cartilage in your knee joint that acts like a shock absorber between the bones in your upper and lower knee. It allows your knee joint to move smoothly and helps keep it stable.

A torn meniscus may not heal on its own as there is a limited blood supply to that area. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited knee function

If conservative treatment for your meniscus tear is not successful, your consultant may recommend a meniscectomy.

What happens during a meniscectomy?

A meniscectomy is usually performed arthroscopically under general or local anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make small incisions (cuts) in your knee and access the meniscus using special surgical tools and a tiny camera. They will assess any damage, clean out the area and repair any tears. Your surgical wounds will be closed using stitches, staples or steristrips.

A physiotherapist will visit you before you leave hospital to show you gentle exercises that will help restore your range of motion and strength in your knee.

A meniscectomy is usually performed as a day case meaning you can go home the day of your operation. You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home when you are discharged.

Going home after a meniscectomy

You may need to use crutches in the first few days following your surgery. Continue to take any pain relief medication as prescribed.

Use ice on your knee to help control swelling and pain. Wrap any ice pack with a tea towel and apply several times a day for 10-20 minutes.

If your incisions are dry you can remove your dressing after two days. Keep the area clean and dry until your follow-up visit. Use a water proof dressing when showering.

Continue doing your exercises as prescribed. You should avoid any strenuous activity until released to do so by your consultant.

Be sure and discuss any return to work with your consultant.

As with any procedure there can be complications including:

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your consultant?


Leeds Hospital

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111 0113 301 0245 (fax)
Switchboard 0113 388 2000
Treatment Enquiries 0113 388 2111
Outpatient Bookings 0113 388 2067

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