How does meniscal transplant surgery work?

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It is a type of surgery that replaces your damaged or missing meniscus with one from a cadaver donor. The procedure usually requires general anesthesia.

There are two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage on each side of your knee. A Meniskusriss is a rubbery piece that acts as a shock absorber between your thigh bone (femur) and your shinbone (tibia). A different type of cartilage caps the tibia and femur, which also helps your bones move smoothly. Menisci protect the ends of your femur and tibia as they move together.

A twisting injury may severely damage your meniscus. In severe cases, your surgeon may need to remove your meniscus. If you do not have this meniscus cushion, your tibia and femur may start to rub together abnormally. As a result, you may experience persistent knee pain. This may eventually lead to arthritis. As your cartilage “cap” deteriorates, the bones beneath start scraping together.

Having a meniscal transplant is another option available to you. Your surgeon will make a small incision in your knee. He or she uses special instruments and cameras to examine the joint space between your femur and tibia. Your surgeon then surgically sews the donor meniscus into the joint space.

What is the need for meniscal transplant surgery?

A meniscus transplant may be beneficial if your meniscus was removed during a previous surgery. Without a meniscus, you might gradually develop knee pain and arthritis. (This might have happened if the damage to the meniscus was so severe that it couldn’t be repaired during the previous surgery.) Meniscus replacement may provide significant pain relief. Additionally, it may help prevent arthritis in your joint. Arthritis can develop when your cartilage becomes frayed and rough. This type of surgery is less invasive than knee replacement surgery.

It might not be advisable to undergo meniscus transplant surgery if your meniscus has been removed. If you already have arthritis in your knee, the procedure might not help because there may already be too much damage to your cartilage and bones. A knee replacement might be a better option.

If you have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions, you may be a good candidate for meniscal transplant surgery:

  • You’re younger than 55.
  • More than half of your meniscus is missing, or you have a large meniscus tear that can’t be repaired.
  • You have significant or persistent knee pain, or you have an unstable knee.
  • You have minimal arthritis or none at all.
  • The ligaments in your knee are stable and the alignment is normal.
  • You are not overweight.

What should I do to prepare for a meniscal transplant?

Talk to your healthcare provider about how to prepare for meniscal transplant surgery. Ask your physician whether you need to stop taking any medicines ahead of time, such as blood thinners. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines like aspirin. After midnight the night before your procedure, you should avoid food and drink.

You may need additional imaging tests before your procedure, such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

You may need to rearrange your living arrangements during your recovery because you’ll need crutches for several weeks.