Understanding the Basics Behind Meniscectomy
What is a Meniscectomy?
Knee pain and injuries are one of the most common reasons why a person would visit an orthopedic physician in Kansas City.
The amount of bending, straightening and twisting movements your knees perform daily means that they’re at an especially high risk of injury. This is especially true for athletes or people who live a particularly active lifestyle. A common injury that occurs as a result is a torn meniscus, which may require a menisectomy to repair.
The providers at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance are adept at finding the necessary treatments to correct the issue. Our expert orthopedic knee physicians at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance have the knowledge required to treat numerous issues, both surgically and non-surgically. When you visit a specialist at KCOA, we focus on creating a treatment plan based on your specific conditions, symptoms, and recovery goals.
Common signs of a meniscus injury include:
- A popping sensation or locking sensation when attempting to move your knee
- Pain when twisting or rotating the knee
- An inability to fully straighten your knee
- And more
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Knee & Leg Injuries Assessment
Assessing the Injury
Determining the proper treatment process for knee and leg injuries starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers.
You can think of knee pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each individual patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.
Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:
From there, we can decide what treatment option will align best with your needs and lifestyle goals. Once we’ve completed a proper assessment, your provider will often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis.
- Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
- Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
- Did you notice or hear a popping sound at the time of your injury?
- Are you having any clicking/popping, grinding or catching/locking sensations in the joint?
- Have you noticed any change in your symptoms that has made it more challenging to function?
- What are your lifestyle goals?
- How has pain affected those goals?
Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the ankle, heel, or lower leg. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI captures images of muscles, bones, intervertebral discs, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.
Establishing a Care Plan
Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you.
Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like a meniscectomy in Kansas City.
If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, a menisectomy may be right for you.
New technologies allow patients with severe knee and leg pain to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:
- A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
- A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.
Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:
- Pre-surgical laboratory tests
- Primary care clearance
Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery.
Always check with your physician before surgery for specific instructions.
Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery.
Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.
Day of Surgery
If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day:
- A receptionist will check you in at the hospital registration desk.
- A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
- Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
- The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.
How it Works
The type of meniscus surgery that’s performed will normally be decided well before your actual surgery. In the case of a meniscectomy, the decision to operate is made depending on the location or severity of the tear.
Your provider can generally treat minor meniscus tears without any surgery. However, if conservative and non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate symptoms and restore function, a meniscectomy in Kansas City may be your best option. This is especially true if there is a significant tear identified on imaging or if the knee is locking or giving out with activities.
Though there are a number of different meniscus surgeries that a Board Certified surgeon at KCOA can perform, a meniscectomy focuses on removing meniscus fragments to prevent any interference with joint movement. The amount of damaged tissue that needs to be removed will be determined by the size and location of the tear, your symptoms, and your activity level.
Though your orthopedic surgeon can make recommendations for a partial or full meniscectomy, the final decision is ultimately a collaborative one. You, your provider, your family, and others will decide whether this treatment works best for your individual needs.
The most common methodology for performing a meniscectomy is arthroscopy, which involves the use of general anesthesia and the insertion of a lighted tube and a tiny camera into the knee through small incisions. With these tools, your surgeon can locate the tear and remove the damaged tissue. An arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients can return home that same day.
Post-Op & What to Expect
A patient’s recovery plan and timeline will vary based on a variety of factors, including age, activity level, goals, and more. However, taking care of your body will be essential to ensure optimal results from your meniscus surgery.
Following your procedure, patients will likely experience swelling, bruising, and possible numbness in the treatment area. Rest and ice will be critical immediately following surgery. Your provider may also provide you with pain medications, crutches, a brace, and more.
The full recovery timeline will likely take multiple weeks, depending on the amount and location of tissue removed, your response to treatment, and your goals post-procedure.
To see the best results from your treatment, strict adherence to your recovery plan will be crucial. This can include physical therapy, rehab, rest, icing, and more.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Foot & Ankle Injuries
With so many different structures working together in your knees, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.
Proper meniscus injury management techniques can help treat your issues. Though you can treat many knee issues with conservative measures and non-surgical options, sometimes surgery may be necessary if the patient’s knee doesn’t respond to these treatments. Knee injuries can also degenerate based on certain risk factors, such as age, activity level, weight, and more.
Causes of Knee Pain
The body has different kinds of joints, and they all face different challenges.
The severity of your knee and leg pain can vary based on a number of factors, including the location and the source of the issue. The knee is a very vulnerable joint in your body that’s susceptible to injury from a forceful motion, as well as the wear and tear that builds up over the years.
Your knee relies on a number of structures to function, including bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. As the years go on, many people struggle with the effects of repeated movements, such as walking, running, or jumping. This can result in meniscus injuries that require treatment from an orthopedic specialist in Kansas City.
In most cases, surgery is not the first option for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. If we can treat your knee issues with more conservative treatments, we’ll choose those options. We typically exhaust all non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery. Non-surgical treatments for meniscus injuries include:
Movement can actually reduce pain and encourage healing in the meniscus, as movement increases circulation and supplies and other nutrients that support joint health and function. Stretching and flexibility exercises, strengthening exercises, deep tissue massages, and cryotherapy (use of cold packs) are particularly helpful.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you.
Stabilization involves the use of braces or other supportive devices to reduce stress and allow the affected area to heal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.
Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.
With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.
Overland Park, Kansas10777 Nall Ave Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211
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This place is amazing! I cannot say enough good things about our experience here! From the reception desk where they were beyond helpful and even made phone calls for me to my kids pediatrician to very short wait time then the patience and help of doctors and staff that were great with my 3 year old! Getting same day service this great was so nice! Love this place and highly recommend!!
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I have been going to the doctors here for many things and for many years. They have some of the best doctors and surgeons around and when you need something repaired one of the doctors there who’s speciality it is will have your x-rays and MRIs scheduled and the hospital setup in only a few days. They explain everything you should know and so you can understand it and best of all you don’t have to wait a week to a month for an appointment.
The first thing that I noticed was the traffic flow. This may sound strange but people were being seen and sent out on their way. There was not a huge roomful of frustrated, tired patients. If most (I assume) had uncomfortable and or painful maladies, they didn’t have to wait forever for attention. That was how it was for me. Professional and personable patient care.
Thank you, Dr. Koreckij and Dr. Winston!
I have received very good care from both Dr. Korekij and Dr. Winston. Dr. Koreckij did a partial hip replacement …then I fractured and dislocated my wrist… Both doctors were caring and professional, took the time to answer my questions, and explained procedures. My recovery wasn’t easy, but they made it possible. I’m even playing my piano again, almost as well as before.