New scientific studies emphasize more and more the importance of a healthy meniscus. If there is damage, in the past, but even today, a peeling of the injured structure was performed. However, it should be noted that a surgically reduced meniscus cannot perform the task originally intended by nature. After such an operation, there is an increased probability of arthritic changes in the knee joint. With a new surgical technique, the so-called meniscus wrapping, the resulting damage can be permanently repaired in the event of a tear.
Why is the meniscus so important to us and should be preserved at all costs?
The knee is an extremely complex joint with a lot of responsibility when it comes to the unrestricted mobility of the human body. It has to analyze and then implement rapid, unforeseen movements within a very short time. For these tasks it needs, among other things, the support of a meniscus that is as intact as possible. The meniscus, consisting of the inner and outer meniscus, has a number of important functions: Absorbing shocks to movement, ensuring basic stability, distributing loads, lubricating the knee joint, and controlling neuromuscular function.
Chances and application of meniscus wrapping – solution for supposedly irreparable menisci
Meniscal injuries occur in many different forms in almost all age groups. Meniscus tears have poor chances of healing due to their position sitting in the avascular zone. This means, in detail, that the meniscus is located in a rather poorly perfused part of the body. Thus, independent regeneration of the body in such a defect is extremely low.
Meniscus wrapping process
1) The first step in the surgical repair of the meniscus includes, among other things, an arthroscopic assessment of the shape of the tear. The next step is primarily to freshen the rupture and remove excess and already separated meniscus structure.
2) Now it is a matter of repairing the damage to the meniscus by suturing the tear and a special collagen membrane. These steps are performed directly in the affected joint and are done with spike forceps.
3) After placing the circumferential suture, the membrane and the prepared meniscus can be perfectly taken care of by the surgeon. This care takes the form of fixation of the meniscus to the membrane through multiple sutures placed using the inside-out technique. The aim is to enclose the entire meniscus with the collagen membrane.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cost of meniscus wrapping?
The surgical technique does not result in any extra costs for the patient.
How long should the operated leg be relieved after the procedure?
In the first 14 days, only a partial load on the affected leg is recommended, after which the knee can be moved freely again.
Will a splint be needed for support after the operation?
After the meniscus wrapping, no splinting of the operated knee is necessary.
Are there any known complications related to meniscus wrapping?
Meniscus wrapping is a minimally invasive procedure that usually proceeds without complications.
Are there known allergic reactions to the membranes used in the operation?
There are no known allergic reactions related to the use of the membrane. They are made of the same material as the membranes used in cartilage surgery for years.
What are the chances of success with meniscus wrapping?
According to published studies, the chance of success with this surgical method is very good. 90 percent of the examined patients who came for the check-up examination after 5 years could be happy about a still very stable and intact meniscus. Another side effect of the performed surgery is the successful avoidance of cartilage damage, which usually develops gradually after meniscus damage.
Is meniscus wrapping recommended in combination with cruciate ligament surgery?
Due to the high stress on the knee joint after a cruciate ligament tear, meniscus wrapping is recommended for cruciate ligament surgery. This additional measure significantly increases the stability of the affected knee.
How long does the minimally invasive operation take on average?
An operation of this type usually lasts 45-70 minutes.