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Meniscus repair

Good surgeons these days will generally try to repair a torn meniscus where practical. At present there are several repair options, including -

Meniscal sutures - 'stitches'.

Illustration of meniscus repair

Surgeons often mention that they repaired the meniscus using an 'inside-out' technique. This is a technique where thin tubes (cannulae) with an end like a hypodermic needle are pushed through the skin into the knee joint, and a fine flexible needle pre-threaded with a suture is passed through the cannula and then the one side of the meniscal tear and out through an incision in the skin. The same needed, still with a thread attached, is then passed through the other side of the meniscal tear and again out through the skin incision. Then the cannula and needle are removed, leaving a suture through the two sides of the meniscus, and the loose ends are tied outside of the joint where the incision was made, and the skin is closed over the knot.

Usually the fixation is bio-absorbable, and holds its strength just long enough for healing to occur, before getting absorbed by the body, leaving no sign of the repair material.

Meniscal arrows

Meniscal arrows are little half-inch long harpoons, just a millimetre wide, which are knocked or shot into the tear to hold the two surfaces together via the barbs. These are also bio-absorbable. Although they may work loose and have to be removed surgically, this is uncommon.

T-fix

The T-fix is similar, but T-shaped rather than harpoon-shaped.

 

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Updated: 10 Aug, 2013
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