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Meniscectomy is a type of meniscus tear treatment in which a part of the meniscus is removed. This is done when an individual suffers from a type of a knee injury called meniscus tear. The surgical decision to remove all of or a part of the meniscus is taken based on the overall health, age, activity level, and the nature of injury of the patient.

This meniscus treatment is performed by a team of orthopaedic surgeons. The doctor is likely to advise this surgery if they think that it is the best available treatment for you, depending on the exact location of the tear, its pattern, and size.

There are different types of a meniscus tear. A small meniscus tear usually requires no surgery and heals on its own through home treatment. A moderate to larger tear in the red zone of the meniscus is best treated with the help of a meniscectomy surgery. A tear in the white zone of the meniscus, on the other hand, is not treated with the help of meniscectomy surgery because there are fewer chances of healing.

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Before the Treatment

  • You will have a thorough discussion with the surgeon wherein you can set your expectations out of the surgery as you get to know its benefits and risks.
  • Inform the doctor about each and every medication that you are currently taking, including any pain medications, NSAIDs, blood thinners, and herbal and vitamin supplements.
  • You need to take the medications as advised by the doctor and stop others that you are taking.
  • Stop taking any food or drinks hours before the surgery or as advised by the doctor.
  • Take a bath or a shower before you come on the day of the surgery.
  • Do not apply any lotion or cream before the surgery.
  • Take off all the jewelry or contact lenses, if you are wearing them.

How it is Performed

Before the surgery, local or general anaesthesia may be administered to numb the area or put the patient in temporary sleep, respectively. Meniscus surgery is mostly performed with the help of an arthroscope. It is a special instrument with a camera attached to it. It is used to examine the knee joint, identify the area of damage, and conduct the repair.

During the surgery, an arthroscope is inserted through a small incision near the knee joint. The surgeon is able to view the joint and accordingly guide surgical instruments to make the repair. In the case of total meniscectomy, the entire meniscus is removed. In partial meniscectomy, the surgeon tries to remove as a limited amount of meniscus as possible.

Some patients may require an open procedure for meniscus removal. It is up to the surgeon to decide which approach would be best suitable for the patients. But the end decision lies with the patient. Arthroscopic meniscus tear treatment is usually conducted in the outpatient room.


You will be advised to rest after the surgery, followed by light exercises and walking. People who undergo an arthroscopic procedure are usually able to put weight on their affected leg within a day or two of the surgery. The rest of them may take a couple of more days. Arthroscopic procedure is a minimally-invasive procedure that allows for quick recovery and minimal pain and healing time. Such patients can return to their normal routine and full activities within two to four weeks, while others may take up to eight weeks.

Painkillers may be administered to relieve any discomfort that the patient may experience. It is important for the patients to follow the exercise routine and take rehabilitation seriously after the surgery to expedite recovery.

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Q: What is the recovery time for meniscus surgery?

A: It may take around four to six weeks for a patient to recover fully from the meniscus surgery.


Q: Can medial meniscus tear heal on its own?

A: A tear in the red zone of the meniscus heal on its own, while a tear in the white zone is repaired only with a surgery.


Q: How long does it take for a torn meniscus to heal on its own?

A: A torn meniscus may take around four to six weeks to heal on its own.


Q: What happens if you leave a torn meniscus untreated?


A: If left untreated, the torn meniscus may worsen over a period of time and lead to the onset of osteoarthritis in addition to other discomforting symptoms.


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