Arthroscopic meniscectomy is a surgical keyhole procedure to remove all or part of the meniscus of the knee.

arthroscopic surgery
In one hand the arthroscope allows fluid to irrigate the joint, and also provides illumination and projects a camera image onto a monitor above the surgeon's head. The other hand controls the instruments to cut free any damaged parts of the meniscus.



Extent of the meniscectomy

A meniscectomy may be a trimming of the meniscus, a partial meniscectomy - where only part of the meniscus is removed - or a full meniscectomy where the whole of the meniscus is removed. The surgeon will generally try to preserve the important outer rim of the meniscus.

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Importance of preserving the outer rim

Because of the distribution of fibres in the meniscus, the outer rim carries most of the load that is supported by the meniscus. If the inner edge is trimmed, it won't make a huge difference to the knee, but if the outer rim is damaged then there is a strong chance of the knee developing arthritis.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

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