Meniscus Operation by a Sports Professional
Prof. Dr. Andreas Janousek
Trauma surgery and sports traumatology, sports doctor
Competence center for sports injuries at the Döbling private clinic
Prof. Janousek, the meniscus rupture is the most common injury to the knee joint. What is the function of the meniscus?
Meniscus function is to serves as a shock absorber and compensates unevenness in the joint surfaces, differences in joint pressure and makes a significant contribution to joint stabilization.
How is a meniscus tear treated today?
In general, the goal should be to preserve the meniscus or, if a resection is required, to perform a partial resection, i.e. to remove as little as possible and to preserve as much as possible.
What are the consequences of removing the meniscus?
When the meniscus is removed, the cartilage wears more and this can lead to premature osteoarthritis. Refixation of the meniscus is an important alternative to (partial) removal of the meniscus. However, the criteria for refixation must be given.
So the meniscus cannot be preserved in every case?
No. Severe degenerative meniscal tears are not suitable. The type of tear and the age of the patient are decisive. In general, the age limit is 40 to 50 years. However, the trend is to refix the tear regardless of the age. Especially in the case of a simultaneous ligament injury, we deliberately do not set any age limit. The decisive factor is an exact diagnosis, i.e. a detailed clinical examination and an MR examination - ideally with a 3-Tesla MR device such as is available at the Döbling Private Hospital.
Can a ligament injury and a meniscus tear be repaired in one operation?
Yes, in the case of cruciate ligament and meniscus tears, the cruciate ligament can be reconstructed and the meniscus fixed in one operation, especially if the tears are fresh.
Does it make a difference how quickly an operation is performed after the meniscus tear?
Yes, fresh tears can usually be sewn directly. If the tear happened a long time ago, the tear surfaces often have to be smoothed with a shaver or meniscus rasp before the suture can be made.
How long is the hospital stay for meniscus fixation? How long the rehabilitation? And when can you do sports again?
The hospital stay usually lasts two days for both partial removal of the meniscus and sutures. Rehabilitation begins in the hospital after the operation and should be carried out for 4-6 weeks. Ergometer training can be started three days after the operation, and after four weeks in case of meniscus sutures.
After partial removal of the meniscus you can do spots after about 4-6 weeks, after meniscus suturing after three months.
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