The SPECIALIST'S OFFICE => Meniscus => Topic started by: CatiePaige0821 on February 04, 2011, 11:16:28 PM

Title: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: CatiePaige0821 on February 04, 2011, 11:16:28 PM
I am scheduled for a meniscus transplant on May 11th. I just got word that I had been matched to a donor on Wednesday.

I was wondering if anyone who's been through this can tell me about their experience? Thank you :)
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: JuhaH on February 05, 2011, 10:10:46 PM
Hi Catie,

I copied a couple of meniscus transplant post-op rehab guidelines, here ( in the earlier topic by Dennis. Is it going to be your medial or lateral meniscus transplant surgery? How did you tear your meniscus? By the way, check out this blog, written by Chris -> .

I had surgery done in january 2010, and had about 70-80% my medial meniscus removed from complex tears. My surgeon would like to try Actifit ( scaffold to treat my torn meniscus. I will meet him next week and suggest that we go for a meniscus transplant, because I have new tears in posterior horn of meniscus. Hopefully, I have meniscus transplant too before next summer  :)

Good luck.
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: CatiePaige0821 on February 05, 2011, 11:03:37 PM
Thank you so much!

It's my medial meniscus. I've torn them both playing sports and unfortunately it just kept happening and now I'm to the point where there's barely anything left.

Please be sure to tell me how your appointment goes! Thank you again :)
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: JuhaH on February 08, 2011, 07:44:22 AM
Hi Catie,

I'm just curious. Where are you having your meniscal allograft transplant surgery and who is your surgeon? Are they going to replace your lateral meniscus later or what is the plan with that?

I had a long talk yesterday with my surgeon. Once again, I had endless amount of questions about meniscus and other issues regarding the knee. My surgeon convinced me that we will first try Actifit implant and if that fails we will go for meniscus allograft transplant. So our treatment order is: 1) Actifit ( implant surgery. 2) Meniscus allograft transplant. 3) Total knee arthroplasty.
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: JuhaH on February 08, 2011, 07:52:18 AM
Catie, here's ( previous topic about having both the medial and lateral meniscus replaced at the same surgery.
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: CatiePaige0821 on February 08, 2011, 01:46:00 PM

I'm having my transplant done at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My surgeon is Dr. Christopher Harner, he's been studying meniscal transplants since 1992.

I was wrong in telling you that they are only replacing my medial meniscus, they are doing both medial and lateral.

Are you okay with your surgeon's decision or would you have preferred to go ahead with the transplant? UPMC Mercy Video of Dr. Harner
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: pegleg78 on February 08, 2011, 03:54:39 PM
Your history sounds a lot like mine. I tore my ACL and both menicsus and had it fixed, and then kept retearing the meniscus. I eventually had a medial and lateral meniscus transplant with ACL revision. That was 10 years ago in 2001. I know the recovery and rehab protocals have changed since I had mine done. I can tell you it was the most painful surgery I ever had (even more painfull than the TKR I just had). I'm glad it was done.  With my most recent surgery the TKR they put in a femoral nerve cathether for a few days which is better than just a femoral nerve block. I would talk to your OS about his post op pain management. I have a great OS and I really didn't feel much pain in the hospital at all I was in for 5 days. I hope that everything works out for you.

Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: CatiePaige0821 on February 08, 2011, 09:58:52 PM

Thank you very much. I will definitely ask my OS about pain management!
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: adilorenzo on March 12, 2011, 01:15:39 PM
I am 18 years old, waiting for a donor for a meniscus transplant, tibial tubrical osteotomy and possible aci done by Tom Minas of the Cartilage Repair Center in Chestnut Hill, Mass. I was very excited to get the procedure done seeing as this will be surgery number 5 since in the past 8 years. It has now been 11 weeks and I still have no donor. My local orthopedic sent me to Dr. Minas because he does the most transplants and he would get the most donors. I know that the allograft has to fit to a T but I am starting to get discouraged about how long I have been waiting. I had surgery in October and was able to swim my first college season, but I am afraid because of the on going pain and no donor I wont be able to next season :(. Can anyone shed some light on their wait time for a donor?

Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: blometti on March 16, 2011, 03:27:59 PM
I just had a meniscus transplant done- I am about 3 months post op. Ill be honest with you. Its by far the hardest surgery I have had done on my knee. (I had a massive OAST done last year) I think it varies by doc and patient, but I was non weight bearing for about 6 weeks. The rehab is long and painful at times. I am still going to PT, and still struggle with walking long distances or going up and down stairs. I have to say though, the pain I had before surgery is gone! I think the majority of the pain I have now is from lack of muscle- your quad will def take a huge hit. If you are not already, try and build that muscle as much as possible. It will help you in recovery.
If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: Aggiecatcher on March 25, 2011, 04:20:49 PM
I had mine done in December 2007.  I see Juha already referred you to my blog.  I've returned to skiing, tons of sports, and play my first ice hockey game (I took it up this year) tonight. Am I totally pain free, not really, but if I didn't push so hard I probably would be.  The first week SUCKS.  The second week is better, but the 3rd week, I was pretty much pain free (other than the rehab related pain).  I did have a nerve problem, but it was resolved through PT.  Don't freak out about the pain...just make sure you get a pain plan with your doc presurgery.

PM me if you have any questions my blog didn't answer.
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: Pdreamers on April 03, 2011, 12:07:58 PM
Catie, best of luck with your transplants.  I posted a while back after I had my lateral meniscus transplant and had hoped to start a blog on my rehab process but between my continued focus on rehab and work, I wasn't able to.  I had a 2 stage surgical approach for my degenerative knee which included paste grafting and microfracture techniques to 3 full chondral defects on the articular cartilage on my lateral side, and then lateral meniscus and ACL transplants.  I am 6 1/2 months from transplants and almost 8 months from the paste grafting, microfracture and clean up work.

From a pain management standpoint, the recovery from the 2nd surgery was definitely more painful than the 1st but nowhere near the pain that I endured over the years from my degenerative knee.  Over the 5 week period post transplants, I was able to get by with taking about 30 norco tablets until I was finally able to weed off of them.  Everyone's pain tolerance is different and since you are getting both medial and lateral meniscus done your pain level could be different.  Hopefully that aspect goes well for you.

From a recovery standpoint, the key I found was doing the best you can to do pre-rehab and then continue a strong PT program post surgery.  I was non-weight-bearing after my paste grafting and microfracture surgery for 5 weeks and then started partial weight-bearing on crutches a couple of days before my transplants.  Then I was partial weight-bearing on crutches for 5 weeks post transplants and progressed to full weight-bearing after that. 

I continued PT at a clinic up until my 6 month followup which I just had last week and now I feel naked since I am on my own.  The key to any successful surgery, especially a meniscus transplant is to continue to be active as it is a long process to fully heal and become your own, especially if you have a lot of degenerative problems.  I have been lucky with no setbacks so far and am able to be aggressive on elliptical machines, weight strenthening (no extension lifting), stretching, core exercises, riding a bike, and other stuff.  I got full clearcnce to start golfing again and the clinic said I should be able to start light jogging soon.  Not sure if I will as I would rather just focus on building up my golf swing from partial swings with my high irons eventually to full swings with all clubs over the next month or so. 

Another thing that is supposed to help meniscus transplants is to get synvisc injections to keep the joint lubricated and I plan to get my 1st round in about a week.  I thought I was done with those but it makes sense.

Send me a message if you have any any questions.


Hey Aggie, as you can see things are going very well for me so far.  Just very busy so I have not been able to post.  Went to Dr Stone for my 6 month follow-up last week and he was very pleased as was his PT staff!
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: CatiePaige0821 on April 20, 2011, 05:47:52 PM
I want to thank you guys for getting back to me and letting me know about your experiences. I really do appreciate it very much.

I was wrong in my previous post as I just got the surgery write up. I am having JUST a medial meniscus transplant. For now, that is all we are doing.

I didn't say this before, but Dr. Harner told me that my knee is "tight" when he went in to do a scope back in October just to see what was going on, he said he couldn't see to the back of my knee. Because of this, he is going to detach my MCL for the transplant surgery so that he can be sure that he can stitch the donor meniscus all the way around. I'm not sure what kind of pain or longer recovery this will cause.

Does anyone have any input about this?

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: Aggiecatcher on April 25, 2011, 06:21:52 PM

First of all, you'll be fine.  This is a hard surgery, but totally doable.  The key is to remember that it will take some time before you are back to normal and that you will have good days, then a bad day, then 10 good days.  Be dedicated to rehab like nothing else...this is the key to healing according to my doc.

Talk to your doc, I don't think they would harm your MCL to do the surgery. They sutured mine in all the way around, and didn't touch my MCL.  Good like, make sure you are pre-habbing now!
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: JuhaH on August 03, 2011, 11:37:28 AM
Here's another nice blog, providing a lot of useful or interesting information about meniscus allograft transplant -> .
Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: chiltwig on September 05, 2011, 08:14:21 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have a meniscus transplant in March of 2010 performed in Boston by Dr. Kai Mithoefer. Unfortunately, I'm 18 months post op with continued pain and swelling. Apparently I have a small amount articular cartilage damage on the lateral side, a bone spur, scar tissue, and the transplant (while in good shape) is slightly "misplaced" and needs to be moved slightly to improve my results. I'm wondering if anyone has had this challenge and if so did you do another surgery post meniscus transplant.

I've gone out to Vail for an opinion from the Steadman clinic docs, and I am planning to have a revision surgery with Dr. Robert LaPrade. Does anyone have any comments, suggestions, etc about LaPrade/ my situation/ a good outcome?? I'm a 29 year old female, not over weight, and have been doing PT to increase muscle strength. That seems to be helping. I really hope I don't need a knee replacement when I'm in my 40's, that's why I decided to do the meniscus transplant in the first place. Any and all help/ suggestions/ comments are greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: Meniscus Transplant
Post by: ekelley on June 13, 2012, 06:31:04 PM
Adi, I'm curious how long you ended up having to wait for a donor?  I'm currently a patient of Dr Gomoll's in the same office and they've told me it can take month to find a donor.  The lady (his admin assist) I keep talking to is extremely rude so I can't tell if she just keeps telling me that to keep me from calling all the time or if it's really going to take forever.  I have a second opinion on Tuesday with a different dr to see if he can move the process along a little faster.  Any advice from anyone as to how long it should take to find a donor meniscus?