Menisci are the intra-articular structures that are located in the medial and lateral side of the knee joint. Meniscus has important functions like; even distribution of the body weight, associating for the stability of the knee joint and preventing cartilage erosion during knee motion. Those vital functions of the meniscus were not well known previously so that in the early era of the meniscus surgery, most part of the torn meniscus was removed by open surgical methods. However, with progressed investigations, the functions of the menisci are well understood and now with arthroscopic methods the main aim of the surgery is protecting as much as menisci possible.
Meniscus tear is the most common injury of the knee joint. Pain is the most common symptom and is present in almost 90 % of the meniscus tear. The other symptoms are knee joint swelling and mechanical findings like locking or giving way. Mechanic symptoms usually indicates tha injury is a big “buckle handle” type meniscus tear.
The only treatment for meniscus tear is surgery. Since blood circulation of menisci is limited, the healing potential of the menisci is very low. The surgery is performed with arthroscopy which is also named as “closed method”. In arthroscopy, the joint is entered with camera and specially designed equipment. The size and location of the meniscus tear defines the type of the surgery. If the tear is a small one and centrally located, which is devoid of blood nourishment, the torn part of the meniscus is removed. If the tear is a big one and peripherally located, the choice of treatment is usually suturing the torn part of the meniscus. The patient is discharged 4-6 hours after the operation. If the torn part is removed, the patient is allowed for weight bearing. However if the torn part is sutured, the patient is not allowed weight bearing for 6 weeks and physical therapy may be required during healing period.