Meniscus Replacement & Transplant Surgery
The meniscus consists of two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that sit between your shin and thigh bone, right inside the knee. These vital pieces of cartilage work to absorb impact every time your foot hits the pavement. Meniscus tears are some of the most common knee injuries that can occur, and in some cases, a meniscus transplant is necessary to repair a severely damaged meniscus.
NY Orthopedics’ team of medical professionals specializes in surgical knee replacements that include meniscus replacement. We have offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau and Rockland counties, and New Jersey. Our physicians are well-renowned, serving both professional and amateur athletes alike.
What is meniscus allograft transplantation?
A meniscus transplant allograft involves taking a healthy meniscus from a donor to take the place of a damaged one. The donor meniscus is taken from a donor and is thoroughly tested to ensure its safety.
What happens during a meniscus allograft transplantation?
Once everything has been cleared for the procedure, your doctor will provide regional anesthesia to the knee. From there, the surgeon will make a small incision in the knee to insert an arthroscope, a small camera used to get a good view of the meniscus. Your doctor will inspect the area so they can prepare the new meniscus for transplant. If there is any remaining tissue in the old meniscus, it will be removed before the transplant.
The new meniscus is sutured into place, and your surgeon may include screws and other devices to ensure the new tissue is secure. Once the meniscus is fully healed, the surgeon can remove the screws.
How to Prepare for Meniscus Allograft Transplantation
Before a meniscus allograft transplantation, you may be asked to do a few things to reduce any risks during the procedure. Keep in mind, since the procedure requires using anesthesia, you should plan to have someone drive you home. In addition, you will likely have to:
- Avoid taking any blood thinners (NSAIDS), like aspirin or Ibuprofen.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
- Clear any medications you will need before the procedure.
- Reduce your nicotine intake if you are a smoker.
- Fast at least eight hours before the procedure.
How Long Is Recovery From Meniscus Surgery?
Recovery from meniscus surgery can take anywhere from six weeks to three months. During this time, it’s important to avoid any strenuous activity or added weight on the knee to give it proper time to heal.
To help improve recovery times and alleviate any discomfort during the healing process, you may be asked to do a few things:
- Use a pair of crutches to take stress off the knee.
- Be placed in a knee brace to stabilize the knee.
- Take pain medications to reduce any pain.
- Perform some physical therapy exercises to keep your muscles and joints strong.
Common Risks of a Meniscus Transplant
It’s rare to encounter any issues after a meniscus allograft transplantation, but there are a few risks that you and your doctor should monitor:
- Stiffness in the knee
- New tears to the meniscus
- Infection around the knee
- Severe pain in the knee
- Can I expect a full recovery after a meniscus allograft transplantation?
- Yes! The success rate of a meniscus allograft transplantation is very high (around 90%). Sports athletes can also expect a full recovery, allowing them to return to the field after the meniscus has healed. According to Yale Medicine, 80 or 90% of athletes are able to return to pre-injury sporting activities following meniscal transplantation.
- Is a meniscus transplant painful?
- Most patients experience mild to moderate pain after the procedure, but this can be reduced with pain medications.
- How long does a meniscus transplant take?
- On average, a skilled surgeon can fully perform a meniscus allograft transplantation in about an hour. This does not include post-op procedures and getting you ready for the drive home.
NY Orthopedics Sports Medicine Surgeons
- STEPHEN J. NICHOLAS, M.D.
- BENJAMIN B. BEDFORD, M.D.
- SERGAI N. DELAMORA, M.D.
- SAMEH ELGUIZAOUI, M.D.
- GREGORY GALANO, M.D.
- MARK KLION, M.D.
- MATTHEW GOTLIN, M.D.
- STEVEN J. LEE, M.D.
- MATTHEW (TEO) MENDEZ-ZFASS, M.D.
- NICHOLAS A. WESSLING, M.D.
NY Orthopedics has multiple sports medicine offices in New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as the surrounding counties, including Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland. In addition to meniscus transplants, NY Orthopedics surgeons are skilled in several other surgeries for the hip, shoulder, and ankle joints. To learn more about our services or make an appointment, contact us today!