Meniscus Transplantation

I performed a lateral meniscus allograft transplantation today and this procedure reminded me of the amazing technological advances that knee injuries have made recently.

A meniscus allograft transplantation is performed when a patient has had a previous removal of the majority of the medial or lateral meniscus.

The meniscus is the cartilage soft tissue shock absorber of the knee which is located between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). There are two menisci in each knee. One on the inside which is the medial meniscus and one on the outside which is the lateral meniscus.

A twisting injury with a combined compressive force across the knee can tear the meniscus and lead to pain and locking of the knee‚Ä®.

The meniscus has a poor blood supply and rarely heals when it is torn. The treatment of a meniscus tear is arthroscopic surgery. “Arthro” is the greek work for joint and “scope” is to look inside so we put a small camera in the knee to visualize the joint. The ideal treatment of a meniscus tear is to surgically repair the meniscus with multiple sutures. Unfortunately, many meniscus tears are not able to be repaired and require a meniscectomy or a removal of the torn portion preserving as much of the normal meniscus as possible. Rarely, the entire meniscus is removed and these unfortunate patients are now at risk for early degenerative arthritis because the normal shock absorber between the femur and tibia is absent.

A relatively new technique is now performed which transplants a “cadaver” meniscus (a young person who has died and donates their meniscus) to give the patient a brand new meniscus. The success rate is high and the early results following this surgery eliminate knee pain and, hopefully, prevent or delay the onset of degenerative arthritis.

We perform meniscus transplantation as well as many “new age” procedures to repair cartilage to keep the knee “young” and maximize the patients’ ability to return to sports and a high level of physical¬†activity. Our goal is to avoid or significantly delay the need for a joint replacement surgery.

Please contact us if another surgeon has told you that there is “nothing else to be done” for your knee or a joint replacement has been recommended for you. Our advanced techniques may keep you and your “own” knee at a high level of function.

Have a great summer!
Dr. Sisto

Advertisements