Meniscectomy FAQ’s from an Orthopedic Surgeon

One of the most common procedures that an orthopedic surgeon completes is a meniscectomy. These are commonly done and not only reserved for sports medicine or an injury related to a sports injury.

The meniscectomy is done to help in the fixing and repairing of a tear to the meniscus. Whether from a sports-related injury or another reason, repairing the meniscus is common and is often done frequently by orthopedic surgeons.

Frequently asked questions about meniscectomies

What exactly is a meniscus?

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that rests between the femur and the tibia within the knee. There is one on each side of the knee.

How does someone tear the meniscus?

It is common that a meniscus is torn when either bending or twisting in sports. However, it does not only happen to people playing sports. These injuries are typically incurred by younger individuals.

Can you tell if the pain is from a torn meniscus or possibly arthritis?

It is essential with older adults that the cause of pain be determined before any operation is completed. Because if the pain is from arthritis, it is not repaired in the same way as a torn meniscus.

It can be difficult to determine the pain and this is why it is vital to visit a doctor or orthopedic surgeon so that they can appropriately diagnose and know where the pain is coming from. If the pain is determined to be from a torn meniscus, then an orthopedic surgeon can help.

Can the pain caused by a meniscus tear go away by itself?

Because of studies that have been conducted, we know that a percentage of people have meniscus tears that they have never actually experienced pain from. These are very common and there is no reason for concern.

However, it has not been determined if the pain from a meniscus tear will eventually go away. Although there can be tears that do not cause pain, it does not mean that waiting will help the pain will go away.

It is essential to talk to a doctor after an injury in order to see the best course of action for finding relief from the pain. Continuing to wait for the pain to subside could mean more damage is done and more surgeries might be needed to fix the issue. 

Can removing part of the meniscus cause problems later in life?

Because the meniscus is a type of shock absorber, it is not known if there is a greater chance of arthritis setting in later in life after the procedure. However, it could be cause for concern. There have not been studies done to determine if it is a significant cause of arthritis later in life.

Have more questions about a meniscectomy?

If you have any additional questions that were not answered here, we are always here to help. Contact our office, and we can help answer additional questions you have and the best course of action to get you the relief you need.

Request an appointment here: or call Matthew D. Barber, M.D. at (251) 800-9125 for an appointment in our Mobile office.

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