A total meniscectomy is the surgical removal of the whole of a meniscus - the shock absorber of the knee.

Consequences of total meniscectomy

Usually a knee surgeon will do their best to preserve as much of the damaged meniscus as possible, but sometimes it is simply too damaged and needs to be removed, although the very important rim might still be salvageable.

Without the shock-absorbing meniscus to protect the delicate joint surface of the femur and tibia, the joint may start to deteriorate and arthritis may ensue.

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Options after total meniscectomy

In the younger patient who has had a total meniscectomy, a meniscal transplant may offer the chance of avoiding early arthritis. The procedure is known as meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT) and involves securing in a cadaveric meniscus.

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

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