Candidates for meniscal transplant are typically under the age of 55 and suffer from persistent knee pain and arthritic symptoms as a result of meniscus removal or other injury. They typically would be considered too young for total knee replacement surgery. They should have minimal to no knee arthritis and should not be obese or excessively overweight.
Patients who have knee arthritis may not benefit from meniscal transplant, and some patients may be better candidates for total knee replacement.
Like other surgeries, meniscal repair requires certain general surgery procedures such as preoperative blood testing, and cessation of smoking or use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs one week prior. You will likely be asked to stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery.
Immediately after meniscal transplant, you will be able to walk with crutches and a knee brace. The majority of patients return home on the day of surgery. You will be given pain medication and should not remove the initial dressing on the wound until you receive physical therapy. Keep the knee elevated when resting and lying down to reduce swelling, and walk with crutches to avoid unnecessary stress on the knee.
Physical therapy is typically required as soon as initial pain and swelling has subsided in order to improve range of motion. Most patients will not return to week for at least 2 weeks, and many patients with active jobs require 2-3 months of rest and rehabilitation. Full resumption of vigorous sport activities can typically occur 6-12 months after surgery.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications related to infection or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Other known complications include injury to nerves and blood vessels, bleeding, stiffness, incomplete healing, and revision surgery.