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Treating Meniscus Problems

Pre-Op Checklist

  • Don't eat or drink 10 hours before surgery.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.

  • Tell your doctor if you take any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies.

The type of surgery you have depends on the nature of your tear. Your surgeon may use arthroscopy, a method that involves putting a tiny camera inside your knee, so that your doctor can clearly see your joint. Arthroscopy requires only small incisions (cuts), and you can usually go home the same day as surgery. During surgery, you may have local anesthesia (your doctor numbs your knee with medicine), a regional block (numbing your body from the waist down), or general anesthesia (your doctor gives you drugs to put you into a deep sleep so you do't feel pain.)

Image of torn meniscus

Image of repaired meniscus
Repaired meniscus.

Image of meniscus surgery


For certain tears, your surgeon will try to repair the meniscus. He or she will sew torn edges so they can heal properly. Or your surgeon will use special fasteners to repair damage. In some cases, repairs may require another incision at the back or side of your knee.


In most cases, your surgeon will remove the damaged part of your meniscus. The meniscus won't completely grow back, so your doctor will remove as little tissue as possible. Other tissue, called the articular cartilage, will take over the role as shock absorber for your knee joint.

After Surgery

You'll spend some time in the recovery area and can go home when you've recovered from the anesthesia. Your knee will be bandaged, and you may have stitches, steri-strips, or staples. You may need crutches and may have a splint for support.

Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
Date Last Reviewed: 3/6/2013
© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.