When Do You Need Knee Cartilage or Meniscal Repair? Know About The Process And Types Of Meniscal Repair Or Knee Cartilage Repair

meniscal repair

Before learning why you need meniscus or knee cartilage repair, It is important to understand what they are and their function in knee anatomy.

The knee is one of the most complex joints in the body and has three major components: Femur( thighbone, Patella(joint or knee cap), and Tibia(shinbone). Several other soft tissue components are also involved to hold the joint firmly and move smoothly. They are;

Ligaments: Fibrous connective tissues that connect bone to bone.

Cartilage: Slippery soft, and cushiony bone tissue in the joints or end of bones.

Meniscus: Soft cartilage in the knee that cushions and protects the knee joint from abrasions or thrusts.

Tendons: Tough bands of soft tissue that join bone to muscles.


Knee joint structure


Meniscus or cartilage tear leads to excruciating pain, swelling, and inability to move the affected joint or leg.


When Do You Need Knee Cartilage Or Meniscal Repair Surgery?


An Athlete suffering from knee cartilage tear


   An Athlete suffering from knee cartilage tear

Often, athletes who play sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, etc., suffer torn meniscus due to irrational knee twisting movements. Also, people who indulge in high-intensity gymming or running may also suffer meniscus or cartilage injury. 


A knee cartilage tear or meniscal tear is usually indicated by the following symptoms:
1. Stiff and swollen
2. Knee Inability to bend the knee
3. Sharp shooting pain in the affected knee


You are advised to refrain from moving or walking. Instead, you should rest your knees and apply ice packs to the knee joint to reduce inflammation. You should also consult a knee specialist in Dubai and get the correct diagnosis for your knee condition. 

If you consult Dr Rik, he will physically examine the knee and recommend a bone tomography, X-ray, or knee arthroscopy to obtain detailed internal images of the knee to outline the proper treatment.

If the damaged meniscus can be repaired with the conventional RICE method or over-the-counter medicines, Dr Rik will recommend them as the first line of treatment. However, if the meniscal damage is deep, or the cartilage cannot grow on its own (as in the case of arthritis), the knee specialist will recommend surgery.


Also Read : Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Cartilage or Meniscal Repair Process


An orthopaedic surgeon will review the diagnostic test reports and recommend the best line of treatment accordingly. If a repair surgery is needed, the specialist will analyse the site and extent of tissue damage based on which the meniscal or knee cartilage repair will be performed.

For small defects, Dr Rik can perform an osteochondral autograft, which can be done through minute incisions. In contrast, larger defects will require more intensive damage repairing by autologous chondrocyte implantation.

Dr Rik Kundra is specially trained to perform joint preservation and complex knee surgeries, so he can also perform ligament reconstruction in conjugation with cartilage and meniscus repair if needed.


Here is our patient’s review of the meniscal repair process


Patient reviews on meniscal repair and knee cartilage


Patient reviews on meniscal repair and knee cartilage


Also Read : Everything You Need To Know About Golfers' Knee Injury

Types of Meniscus Repair And Knee Cartilage Repair Surgery


1. Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation


This procedure is recommended for younger patients whose cartilage injury is smaller than 2 cm. The cartilage repair is done through the patient’s own cartilage graft. It is a 2-step process in which the cartilage tissues are arthroscopically harvested from a small incision, and a biopsy is sent to the lab. The cartilage cells are grown in the lab, and then the lab sends the collagen membrane to seed into the damaged cartilage cells in the second step.

In the second step, a long incision is made, and the injury site is assessed. Then the collagen membrane is seeded or implanted in the torn cartilage.

In 12-18 months, the collagen matures and multiplies into mature cartilage cells, and the injury repairs.


2. Osteochondral Autograft Transfer

This procedure is suitable for small cartilage damage. First, a cartilage graft from non-weight-bearing areas of the knee joint is harvested arthroscopically, and then it is implanted in the injured part. The repaired part is smoothened and allowed to repair independently.


3. Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation

This transplantation is highly recommended for active and young patients with diseased knee joints or disabling cartilage injury. The fresh allograft is harvested from a donor, sterilised, and the exact size of the ligament is fit in the damaged site. 


4. Microfracture


The microfracture technique is useful in stimulating new blood supplies and forming new articular cartilage. This is done by creating tiny fractures on the knee joint surface and allowing marrow to spread out and start new cartilage formation.


5. Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair


The Meniscal repair is done via an Arthroscope, a thin, flexible scope to see the internal surgical site better. Few incision portals are made in the knee joint to insert arthroscopy and exchange surgical tools. Through arthroscopy, the knee’s internal anatomy is visualised, and the torn meniscus/cartilage is smoothened and repaired, aiming to reduce friction due to torn meniscus. Once the repair is done, the site is irrigated with sterilised liquid, and incisions are closed.


Read more about the meniscus repair procedure here.


Postoperative Care


Following the surgery, you will have to wear a knee brace for 2-3 weeks. Dr Rik will prescribe pain-reducing medications, and you will be instructed to use crutches for walking. Early and slow leg movements are encouraged to faster rehabilitate the meniscus or cartilage. Gradually, you will be introduced to physical therapy to get back to normal life.

It is strictly advised to attend the follow-up appointments and not make exaggerated leg movements. The first two weeks are crucial and require intensive care while sleeping, standing, or walking. You will not be allowed to drive until the surgeon gives you a green flag.  Also, you have to ask someone to help you during the post-operative period, in walking or doing small jobs.


Why Choose Dr Rik Kundra For Meniscal Repair Surgery Or Knee Cartilage Repair?


Dr Rik Kundra is a specialist knee surgeon interested in performing biological knee reconstruction and knee joint preservation. He has vast experience performing intensive arthroscopic surgeries for ligament reconstruction, meniscus repair, and knee cartilage repair.

Apart from having expertise in joint preservation, Dr Rik is very compassionate and helps out each patient in the best possible ways to recoup faster from their knee ailments. Consult Dr Rik for the best knee injury treatment. 


All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.