Mr Michael Moss

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

01243 753032

The menisci (popularly known as cartilages) are the structures on which most of the work is carried out upon in arthroscopy. The menisci are crucial to knee function both in bending and flexing and in twisting or pivoting, acting as a washer or shock absorber within the joint to allow smooth movement of the femur upon the tibia.

The menisci can be injured by sudden trauma such as a sporting accident or a twisting injury or alternatively the menisci may tear as a result of minor repetitive injury especially in an older patient. Once a meniscus is torn, the damaged edge causes pain, particularly when you try to carry out a deep knee bend or twisting movement. As well as pain, some long term damage can occur as a result of the torn cartilage damaging the bearing surface of the joint.

Meniscal surgery to a damaged articular cartilage is carried out by removing the area which is torn, whilst leaving the vast majority of undamaged meniscus intact. This lessens the chance of developing premature osteoarthritic degeneration of the knee. Meniscal damage that involves a large surface area of the structure can easily be repaired.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if you require knee surgery?

Commonly patients experience pain and swelling in the knee and find that everyday activities are uncomfortable. Walking may be restricted and sleep may be interrupted. Patients may notice instability or locking of the knee and occasionally a grinding sensation.

Though non-surgical treatments are always considered initially, if using medication and a can aren’t delivering enough relief, you need to be referred to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon by your GP before you can be considered for surgery.