Meniscectomy is the surgical procedure of removing a knee meniscus. This can be a full meniscectomy or a partial one.

Page updated November 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

arthroscopic meniscectomy


Most meniscectomies can be performed arthroscopically, ie via keyhole surgery, where small instruments are passed into the knee joint under camera visualisation.


How is a meniscectomy performed?

Meniscectomy is usually performed via the arthroscope (keyhole surgery). Small holes (portals) are made into the knee joint and it is distended with clear fluid, and fine instruments passed into the cavity. An image is relayed via a tiny camera onto a monitor which the surgeon can see. The damaged tissue is removed.

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Full or partial meniscectomy

The outer rim of the meniscus is particular important in protecting the cartilage surfaces of the knee joint. If the meniscus, including the outer rim, is removed then the procedure is a full meniscectomy, and the knee will be structurally compromised. If only part of the meniscus is trimmed away, then that is a partial meniscectomy - it depends upon how much is removed whether the function is much compromised or not. Sometimes a frayed meniscus edge is simply trimmed - and this is unlikely to affect the knee much.

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Forum discussions

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Peer-reviewed papers

  • Quote:

    "...degenerative changes after meniscectomy can be prevented or delayed by preserving normal tissue as much as possible with minimal resection of the meniscus."

    Citation: Jeong HJ, Lee SH, Ko CS. Meniscectomy. Knee Surg Relat Res. 2012 Sep;24(3):129-36. doi: 10.5792/ksrr.2012.24.3.129. Epub 2012 Sep 3. PMID: 22977789; PMCID: PMC3438273.

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

See biography...


Meniscectomy -

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Important consensus -