Discoid Meniscus Treatment

Discoid Meniscus Injury

When a discoid meniscus, often affecting the lateral meniscus, tears, treatment is typically necessary to address the associated symptoms. Most of the time, the meniscus is quite thin and degenerated when it tears, requiring a significant portion to be removed. Efforts are made to restore a more normal shape to the lateral meniscus by trimming the edges, leaving some healthy meniscal tissue intact.

In rare cases, a thick discoid meniscus may tear at the capsular junction, where there is still a blood supply. These instances often occur at the far anterior or posterior horns of the discoid meniscus. In such unique situations, where a portion of the meniscus remains intact, attempts can be made to repair the torn meniscus rather than removing it.

Failed PCL with Bad Tibial Tunnel Location

Description of Discoid Meniscus Surgery

For patients who undergo a resection or saucerization of a discoid lateral meniscus, close monitoring is essential to watch for any signs of knee arthritis development. The lateral meniscus plays a crucial role in absorbing shock in the lateral compartment, often handling up to 70% of it. As a result, patients are advised to promptly inform their physicians or seek evaluation if they experience pain or swelling during activities, which can be an early indication of arthritis.

Regular follow-up includes standing radiographs to assess joint space narrowing and the formation of osteophytes (bone spurs). In cases of malalignment, especially with genu valgus alignment, and if a lateral meniscus resection has occurred in patients with open growth plates, the use of an unloader brace may be necessary to provide additional support and relief.

Post-Operative Protocol for Discoid Meniscus Surgery

A well-structured physical therapy plan plays a crucial role in optimizing outcomes following meniscus surgery repair. Patients are strongly advised to adhere to the prescribed protocol, which includes avoiding certain high-impact, contact, or twisting activities. Following the recommended rehabilitation program closely is vital to achieve the best possible surgical results

Dr. Amit Meena suggests that patients who have undergone discoid meniscus surgery repairs, should refrain from deep squatting, sitting cross-legged, or engaging in heavy lifting for a minimum of four months post-op. This precaution is taken to provide the posterior horn of the meniscus with the optimal conditions for healing. In cases involving concurrent meniscal root repairs or radial repairs, the rehabilitation process is intentionally slowed down to enhance the chances of a successful healing outcome. In such situations, a postoperative MRI may be necessary to confirm the meniscus's proper healing.

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