What is a total meniscectomy?
A total meniscectomy is the complete removal of the meniscus. Total meniscectomies are reserved for meniscus tears that are irreparable and have too much damage to heal properly. Dr. Vidal will make every attempt to spare as much of the meniscus as possible and will try not to do a total meniscectomy unless warranted. Patients should note there is a direct correlation between the amount of meniscus tissue that is surgically removed and the load distribution across the knee. The more tissue that is removed, the less able the knee is to sustain the load of walking, running, or other activities. With uneven load distribution, degeneration of the knee joint may happen at a faster pace than it would with an intact meniscus. For this reason, patients undergoing a total meniscectomy should be prepared to commit to a lengthy recovery process including physical therapy and strengthening exercises to delay degeneration and osteoarthritis. Dr. Vidal will make a joint decision with the patient for the best surgical outcome based on the patient’s age, activity level and the size, shape and area of the meniscus tear.