The meniscus is a piece of fibrous cartilage that is found in the knee. Your injury may be due, mainly, to a traumatic or degenerative cause.
The meniscus are two structures of fibrocartilage (external and internal) in the form of C, whose function is to adapt the rounded shape of the femur to the flat shape of the tibia. They have, therefore, the function of cushion and stabilizer of the knee. In addition, in a cross section, we must distinguish 2 areas: the red zone (is the peripheral zone of the meniscus to which blood arrives and has, therefore, ability to heal) and the white area (is the internal area, without blood and without the ability to heal).
The meniscus can be injured either by traumatic cause (typical of athletes or workers requiring physical effort) or by degenerative cause (typical of older people who already have an older meniscus and are injured by a bad gesture). Once the meniscus tear is diagnosed (usually after exploring the patient and performing a nuclear magnetic resonance), you have to decide what to do.
Treatment of a meniscus injury
First, not all meniscus tears are operated. In our Center we always ask the patient the same question: do you have discomfort that prevents you from living a normal life? If the answer is affirmative, then we decided to do an arthroscopy and, if not, we prescribed a treatment by relative rest, analgesics and physiotherapy. Once we have decided to do the arthroscopy, we choose to do a meniscectomy (remove only the damaged part), but only if the break is in the white area, the patient is over 40 years old and the shape of the break makes it impossible to suture it.
Otherwise, whenever we do a knee arthroscopy we try the meniscal suture (especially in breaks in the red zone and in young patients). Having a meniscectomy leads to a quicker recovery of the patient, although it has the consequence of the possible appearance of early osteoarthritis when a piece of meniscus is missing, while the meniscal suture has a slower recovery (it is necessary to give the meniscus time to heal ), but the possible appearance of osteoarthritis is avoided when the entire meniscus is preserved.