Evolution of Technology

Meniscus Repair

All-inside meniscal repair techniques have gained popularity in recent years as a practical way to repair and secure meniscal tears. The advantages of this technique are that it allows for quicker and more minimally invasive surgeries mitigating the need for those larger accessory incisions seen in inside-out repairs.

This technique first begins with the surgeon placing a camera within the joint, called arthroscopy. Once the tear is identified an all-inside meniscus repair device enters the knee via a second small incision. The device will pierce the meniscus cartilage and eject the suture across the tear and into the knee capsule securing the tear and closing down the meniscal defect.

Evolution of Procedure

Meniscus Surgery

Not all meniscal tears benefit from repair as the blood supply to the meniscus is decreased as you go from the outside to the inside of the meniscus. For this reason, only tears in the more peripheral regions have the optimal blood supply to heal. Repairs consist of putting a suture material through the tear and closing down the defective area. These repairs are typically done through a minimally invasive approach via small incisions and a camera to look within the knee joint, called arthroscopy. Sometimes large incisions need to be made on the inner or outer portion of the knee to facilitate and secure the meniscal repair, called an inside-out procedure. This inside-out repair technique is associated with more post-operative pain and potential damage to the nearby blood vessels and nerves.

Evolution of Diagnosis

Meniscus Tear

The menisci are two pieces cartilage within the knee that function to cushion and stabilize the knee during everyday activities. Tears is the meniscus are one of the most common knee injuries affecting the general population. Injury to the meniscus can be the result of trauma, athletic activities, or simply the result of normal wear and tear. Tears in the meniscus can be significantly debilitating leading to knee pain, swelling, and popping. Additionally, as the knee loses its protective cushioning there is a risk of developing early osteoarthritis(irreversible joint cartilage damage). Treatment of meniscus tears depends on an individual’s characteristics, tear type, and tear size. Some tears can be treated successfully with conservative modalities such as rest, ice and therapy, however a subtype of tears may benefit from repair.