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 Minimally Invasive Arthroscopic Surgery, Khroscopic Surgery, Knee Arthroscopy Arthroscopic meniscectomy is an outpatient minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat a torn meniscus cartilage in the knee. The meniscus is often torn as a result of sport-related injury in athletic individuals. Only the torn segment of the meniscus is removed. Some patients require assistance from physical therapists postoperatively. The average time of return to all activities is 4-6 weeks after the surgery.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a meniscectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:

  1. Swelling
  2. Bleeding
  3. Infection
  4. Blood clots in the calf
  5. Chronic weakness in knee joint
  6. Worsening or unchanged pain
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  1. Smoking
  2. Poor nutrition
  3. History of blood clots
  4. long-term illness
  5. Use of certain medications

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • X-ray of both knees
  • MRI scan —a test that uses a strong magnetic field to make pictures of the inside of the knee
  • Blood test
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure like:

  • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)

Description of the Procedure

There are two methods for meniscectomy:

  • Arthroscopy
  • Arthrotomy—an open technique that is rarely used today


Small incisions are made around the knee. Special tools are inserted into the knee joint. A tiny camera will provide a view of the inside of the knee. The damaged meniscus is either repaired or removed. The surgeon will remove as little cartilage as possible. A drain may be inserted to drain away fluid. The incisions are closed with stitches. The stitches are usually removed in the surgeon's office one week later.

Open Meniscectomy/Arthrotomy

A larger incision is made over the knee joint. The meniscus is then either repaired or removed. The incision is then closed with stitches. It usually results in a longer recovery period. This process usually done when there are problems with the knee that make the arthroscopic procedure difficult.

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