Meniscus transplant is a surgical procedure that involves the transplantation of a donor meniscus into a patient's knee joint. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber in the knee joint, and damage or removal of the meniscus can lead to pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint.
The indications for meniscus transplant are typically for patients who have had a previous meniscectomy (removal of all or part of the meniscus) and are experiencing persistent pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint. Patients who have a history of meniscus tears that cannot be repaired may also benefit from meniscus transplant.
The ideal candidates for meniscus transplant are typically younger patients with minimal osteoarthritis and a deficit in the meniscus that cannot be treated with other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or injections.
The meniscus transplant surgery involves the transplantation of a donor meniscus into the patient's knee joint. The donor meniscus is carefully sized and shaped to fit the patient's joint, and is secured in place with sutures or anchors.
The post-operative recovery for meniscus transplant can be lengthy, with patients required to wear a brace or use crutches for several weeks after the surgery. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are typically required for several months after the surgery to help the patient regain strength and mobility in the knee joint. Return to sports activities can take anywhere from 9-12 months.
The success of meniscus transplant depends on several factors, including the size and location of the meniscus defect, the age and overall health of the patient, and the level of activity or stress placed on the knee joint after surgery. However, meniscus transplant has been shown to be an effective treatment for patients with persistent pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint after a meniscectomy. Meniscus transplant is considered a viable option for younger patients with minimal osteoarthritis and a deficit in the meniscus that cannot be treated with other conservative treatments.