Meniscus Preservation vs. Removal: What Patients Need to Know

Meniscus Preservation vs. Removal: What Patients Need to Know

Understanding the options for treating meniscal injuries is crucial for patients facing knee surgery. The decision between meniscus preservation and removal can have long-term implications on knee function and overall joint health. This article explores the benefits of meniscus preservation techniques over removal, highlighting the advancements in treatments that are designed to improve patient outcomes.

The Importance of the Meniscus

The meniscus plays a pivotal role in knee stability, load distribution, and joint lubrication. Preserving the meniscus whenever possible is essential to maintain knee function and delay the progression of osteoarthritis.

Meniscus Preservation Techniques

Recent advancements in orthopaedic surgery have focused on meniscus preservation. Techniques such as circumferential suturing, collagen scaffold augmentation, and the use of regenerative materials like biological glues and growth factors have shown promising results in enhancing the healing process and functionality of the meniscus.

The Case for Preservation

Preserving the meniscus can lead to better long-term knee health, reduced pain, and improved functionality. It decreases the risk of developing osteoarthritis and maintains the natural biomechanics of the knee joint.

Meniscectomy: A Last Resort

Meniscectomy, or the removal of the meniscus, may relieve short-term symptoms but can lead to long-term issues, including increased risk for osteoarthritis and joint instability. It should be considered a last resort when preservation is not feasible.


Choosing between meniscus preservation and removal requires careful consideration of the patient's specific condition, long-term health goals, and the latest surgical advancements. Consulting with an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, like Prof. Paul Lee, who understands the nuances of meniscal injuries and the benefits of preservation techniques, is essential for making an informed decision.

For more insights and expertise in orthopaedic surgery and meniscus treatment options, visit Prof. Paul Lee's articles on MSK Doctors.

FAQ Section

What is the meniscus, and why is it important?

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint. It is crucial for knee function and helps to prevent arthritis.

What are the benefits of meniscus preservation?

Preservation can maintain knee stability, reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, and retain the knee's natural movement patterns.

What techniques are used for meniscus preservation?

Techniques include circumferential suturing, collagen scaffold augmentation, and the application of biological materials to encourage healing.

When is meniscectomy recommended?

Meniscectomy is typically recommended when the meniscus is severely damaged and cannot be preserved.

How do I decide between preservation and removal?

The decision should be based on the extent of the injury, your overall knee health, and a thorough consultation with your surgeon.

What is the recovery process like for meniscus surgery?

Recovery varies depending on the procedure, but it generally involves rest, physical therapy, and gradually returning to normal activities.

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