The meniscus serves a vital role in protecting the knee from injury while allowing the knee to function in a normal manner. Meniscal tears that occur in young patients can oftentimes be repaired arthroscopically. Typically, tears seen in older patients are not candidates for repair. Instead, they are resected back to normal healthy meniscal tissue to eliminate the symptoms. This allows the patient to be active.
Occasionally, a younger patient who still has viable articular cartilage in the knee sustains a meniscal injury that cannot be repaired arthroscopically or is initially repaired arthroscopically and later fails. These patients are left with a knee that has good cartilage but is missing almost the entire meniscus. In order to allow these patient who are typically younger to be able to resume normal lifestyles and return to competitive athletic sports, there is a procedure called a meniscal allograft transplantation. In this knee surgery, a cadaver meniscus is transplanted into the area of the knee where the meniscus is missing. This surgery is now done nationwide, and physicians at Orthopaedic and Spine Center have performed this surgery successfully for a number of years. Should you wish to be seen and evaluated, contact the Orthopaedic and Spine Center at 757-596-1900.