The meniscus is a ‘C’ shaped structure that acts as a cushion to protect the smooth joint surfaces of the knee joint. There are two – one on each side of the knee joint – and if removed at an operation following injury then there is less protection of the bearing surfaces such that the joint will wear out sooner. The symptoms will include pain and swelling of the knee after activity and limitation in tolerance of impact type sports. Symptoms may gradually get worse over the years as the joint slowly wears.
Overall meniscal transplant is an exciting option for the damaged knee allowing for substantial improvement in the quality of life.
Though a challenging procedure with a long rehabilitation program, the technique alone or when combined with other surgery, provides a realistic biological option for knees, hopefully avoiding, or at least delaying, the need for metal and plastic knee replacement operation
For More information please visit: meniscaltransplant.com
For the latest Rehab information please go to: meniscaltransplant.com/patient/rehabilitation
What can be expected after surgery
The quality of the result of the operation is a key factor in deciding the indications as the replacement tissue is, after all, a donor graft that may not be as strong as the original and it takes time for it to fully integrate into the knee. Having invested a year of time in getting it right after surgery the thought of going back to full contact sports such as football and rugby could be considered ill-advised!
Recent research looking at the outcome by the leading surgeons in the US and in Europe would indicate that at 10 – 13 years approximately 70% of patients still have good function and have not had further surgery. Most have been able to do light sports. The occasional professional athlete may report being able to get back to high level but it should be remembered that professional athletes may have different goals.
Following surgery the rehabilitation process involves using a knee brace for the first 6 weeks while the new meniscus heals in place. The rehabilitation regime is given below.
Evaluating the benefit of the surgery is important benefitting patients now and in the future. All patients undergoing the operation are asked to be part of an ongoing outcome assessment project, completing short questionnaires assessing symptom and activity levels before and after the surgery.
Only by knowing results in detail can the service be improved – for the benefit of more patients
At Coventry only 1 patient so far has refused to cooperate in this important process.