Most meniscus (cartilage in the knee) tears are small, and the torn portion is removed, leaving a smooth, stable surface. Occasionally, other problems are found during arthroscopy, such as cartilage damage or loose fragments, and these may also be treated during surgery.
Certain meniscus tears must be repaired. Historically, during a meniscal repair procedure, stitches were placed from the interior of the knee outward, and incisions were made at the joint line to allow for tying of the knots. In recent years, an instrument was introduced that includes pre-loaded surgical implants that are absorbed in the body over time, as well as a pre-tied knot. With this innovative device, meniscal repair can be performed without the need for additional incisions.
In ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) reconstruction, the torn ligament is replaced with a graft, either from the patient's own body or with donor tissue. The tighter and more secure the graft, the better the result will be for the patient in the long term.
Grafts may be taken from the patient's hamstring, quadriceps, or patella (kneecap) tendon. Donor or cadaver (allograft) tissue may also be used. Screws or other fixation devices anchor the graft and hold it in place.