Meniscus Tear

What is meniscus surgery?

The type of meniscus surgery depends on the type of meniscus tear. Basically, the meniscus tear can be repaired with sutures or removed by cutting it out.  In most cases, the tear is not repairable because the blood supply to the meniscus is poor at the area where most tears occur. The flaps created by the tears are cut out by something similar to a nail clipper. Tears which are closer to the edge of the meniscus have better blood supply and can be sutured together.  It should be noted that the chance of healing a meniscus repair is less than the chance of pain relief from excising the meniscus. However, a knee with a portion of the meniscus removed is more likely to develop arthritis in the future.

- Joseph Yu M.D

What causes a meniscus tear?

When you are young, it is usually caused by an injury such as a forceful twist to the knee. As we get older, less force is required as meniscus can tears can occur without trauma.

- Joseph Yu M.D

Will I develop arthritis after having a part of the menisucs removed?

A normal meniscus functions to dissipate forces in the knee. Without a meniscus, there are higher forces transmitted between the bones in the knees. This can lead to early arthritis.  A knee without a lateral (as opposed the medial) meniscus is more likely to develop arthritis because it covers a smaller area and and more pressure is applied on that side.  It is thought that when a meniscus is torn, it has already lost some of its function. The intent of surgery is to remove only the torn portions of the meniscus and leave the remaining healthy meniscus intact.

- Joseph Yu M.D

What is a bucket handle meniscus tear?


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