Meniscus treatment options
If the meniscus is damaged or injured there are basically 4 treatment options
1. Meniscal repair
The torn tissue is reattached to the meniscus body with appropriate surgical sutures, the goal being that the repaired tissue heals. This is very similar to general surgical suturing.
Given the special anatomy of the meniscus, this is only possible in approximately 20% of the tears, according to the published literature.
2. Partial Meniscectomy
If suturing of the tissue is not possible, the damaged part of the meniscus has to be surgically removed ( partial meniscectomy ), leaving behind a gap that sometimes results in a biomechanical instability of the knee joint, eventually leading to additional pain and joint degeneration in the future.
3. Meniscal scaffold
To avoid further degeneration of the knee joint after partial meniscectomy meniscus scaffolds such as Actifit® have been developed.
The scaffolds are indicated for irreparable partial meniscal tears, are biocompatible and bioresorbable. And are implanted arthroscopically into the vascular zone of the meniscal defect.
The new biocompatible scaffold has been designed with a honeycomb like structure through which blood vessels can rapidly grow thus promoting the formation of newly formed meniscus like tissue inside the scaffold.
Over the subsequent 5-6 years the scaffold starts to very slowly degrade leaving behind newly regenerated meniscus like tissue.
4. Meniscal Allograft
If the meniscus cannot be repaired, is completely torn and there is no intact meniscal rim, the only option for the patient is for the meniscus to be removed and replaced with a meniscal allograft.
A mensical allograft is a complete replacement of the meniscus and the meniscus is donated from a person who has died.