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Arthroscopic Meniscal Transplant

The newest frontier of medical science has made it possible to transplant donor cartilage into your knee.

Meniscal transplants might be for you if you:

  • have a loss of at least one-third to one-half of the meniscus
  • are younger than age 55

The new medical alternative is the meniscal transplant, an hour-long, outpatient, arthroscopic procedure that uses donor tissue to replace damaged meniscus, which can dramatically slow the onset of arthritis.

What is the Meniscus?

It is a c-shaped wedge of tough, rubbery cartilage in the knee about the size of a silver dollar. There are two menisci (plural of meniscus), one on each side of the knee joint. They act as shock absorbers, protecting the joint surface from daily wear and reducing friction between the thigh bone and shin bone. They also help stabilize the knee by controlling its rotation.

Where does the transplanted tissue come from?

Presently, there is no synthetic meniscal tissue. The transplanted tissues come from human donors.

How safe is the donor tissue?

The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) closely monitors the donor tissue. The donor tissue is tested thoroughly to be sure it is disease-free.

How is the surgery performed?

A meniscal transplant is an outpatient procedure performed using tiny instruments and a small incision (arthroscopic surgery). A regional anesthetic is used.

How long is the recovery period?

For the first time three to four weeks, crutches or a knee brace are recommended. The activity level of your job will depend on when you can resume all your job duties. Usually after a month, you can start an exercise therapy program that involves weight bearing exercise.