Meniscus Transplant – Frisco, TX
Meniscus refers to a cartilage layer that is present in the knee joint. It is a C-shaped structure that provides support and cushioning effect to the constituent bones. Each knee has two menisci that prevent direct contact between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). The menisci are thicker than the articular cartilage that lines the bone ends. They not only protect the bones but also prevent the wearing out of the articular cartilage layer.

Damage to the meniscus can result in considerable pain, limited range of motion and also cause arthritis of the knee over a period of time. Once the meniscus is damaged badly, joint replacement is the only option. However, in some cases, Meniscus Transplant may be the alternative method of treatment that can help secure the joint. The torn or damaged meniscus in this case is replaced using a donor cartilage.

Who is a candidate for Meniscus Transplant?

  • People who lead an active life and are below the age of 55 years are eligible to undergo this procedure
  • The procedure may be applied only if the patient has not developed arthritis in the knee joint already
  • The meniscus is so damaged that the condition may lead to erosion of the articular cartilage and the bones
  • The patient feels a lot of pain while moving the joint as the meniscus becomes weak and frayed
  • The patient should not be obese
  • The alignment of the bones should be proper
  • More than half of the meniscus should be damaged and if there is no possibility of it being repaired
  • Constant complain of joint locking, tenderness and instability
  • The ligaments of the joint are in a stable condition

Meniscus Transplant: The Procedure

  • Allograft- a healthy meniscus from a human donor is sourced, measured for the correct size, tested and frozen before the surgery
  • It is generally preferred to take the donor tissue from someone who is known to the patient to avoid the discrepancies in the information provided by the donor regarding his/her medical history
  • An arthroscopic surgery is performed either on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the condition
  • Small instruments fitted with a camera are inserted into the joint after making incisions. The condition of the joint is analyzed and any repairs to the ligament or cartilage, if required, are made. Remnants of the old meniscus are removed and the area is cleared for the allograft
  • The new meniscus is attached to the shin bone and secured in its place through stitches

Recovery After Meniscus Transplant

Recovery may take a couple of months (6-12) and the patient is advised to wear a removable knee brace for 4-6 weeks post operation. Crutches may be used to prevent stressing the new tissue. Some gentle exercises may be prescribed by a physical therapist to restore strength and flexibility. The patient can expect to resume daily activities within 2 weeks of treatment.