What is Meniscus Repair?

Meniscus repair is a surgical procedure that repairs a torn meniscus via keyhole surgery

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Meniscus Repair surgeon


What Is A Meniscus And How Is It Injured?

The “meniscus” or “meniscii” (plural) are two C-shaped cartilage between your thigh and shinbone. They keep your knees stable and act as ‘shock absorbers’ for your knee. Excessive twisting is usually the cause of meniscus tears. That is why it is a common injury amongst athletes – especially those who play football, hockey, or basketball. However, you can also get this injury if you kneel, squat, or lift heavy objects repeatedly. A ‘pop’ sound associated with swelling is an usual indication of a meniscus tear. For some, they still retain movement even after injury and may not even realise that they suffered a meniscus tear until their knee swells up several hours later.


When Do I Need a Meniscus Repair?

Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on its severity and configuration of tear. The doctor can usually determine this by using a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine.


A small undisplaced tear of the meniscus can potentially heal on its own, thus may just require anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. However if the tear is extensive and displaced, such that if it blocks the excursion of knee movement or inability to fully straighten or bend the knee, then surgery would be required to address the tear. Our doctors believe in preserving meniscus tissue and repairing meniscus tears as far as possible, as the meniscus serves an important function in distributing loading stresses across the knee joint.

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How Does Meniscus Repair Help Me?

The goal of meniscus repair is to restore stability and function to the knee so that it can regain a painless full range of motion.


What Happens During Meniscus Repair?

Meniscus repair surgeries are minimally invasive and are performed under anaesthesia. The surgeon may perform any of the following procedures:


  • Arthroscopic repairThe doctor will make small incisions in your knee and use small darts along the tear to stitch it up. These darts will be absorbed by your body over time.
  • Arthroscopic partial meniscectomyThe doctor will remove a piece of the torn meniscus so your knee can function normally.


How Long Can I Expect To Recover From Surgery?

For a partial meniscectomy, recovery can take about a month. For a meniscus repair, it may take as long as 3 months.


You may have to wear a brace to keep your knee stable. You will likely also have to use crutches for several weeks to keep weight off your knee if meniscus repair was performed. This is to offload the repair site so that it can heal properly. The wound should also be kept clean and dry for two weeks so that it can heal properly and without infections.

recovering from meniscus repair surgery

Physical therapy is highly recommended as part of your recovery. This is because it will help increase your range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the knee. The doctor may even recommend a few exercises that you can do at home as well.


What Are The Potential Complications of A Meniscus Repair?

While all surgeries come with some risk, meniscus repair is considered a low-risk procedure. Common complications include:


  • Injury to the skin nerves
  • Infection of the surgical wound
  • Blood clots in the veins of the leg


Your doctor will thoroughly discuss the risks of the meniscus repair with you and outline the necessary precautions that they will take to minimise the chances of complications occurring.

Our Doctors

Dr Tan Sok Chuen

Orthopaedic Surgery Specialist

Dr Tan Sok Chuen is an orthopaedic surgery specialist with subspecialty training in hip and knee surgery – making her the first female hip and knee replacement surgeon in Singapore. She has trained and educated junior doctors through various teaching programmes and courses. Dr Tan has also made many contributions to the scientific literature on hip and knee arthroplasty and her publications on trunnionosis in hip replacements are frequently quoted in indexed journals.

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Dr Adrian Lau

Orthopaedic Surgery Specialist

Dr Adrian Lau is a specialist orthopaedic surgeon trained in primary and complex hip and knee arthroplasty. His clinical practice comprises mainly of total knee replacements, total hip replacements, complex hip and knee replacements, revision surgeries, prosthetic joint infections, and periprosthetic fractures. Dr Lau also plays an active role in the education and training of junior doctors and is a recipient of numerous awards, one of them being the Ministry of Health Training Award in 2014.

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Dr Tan Sok Chuen and Dr Adrian Lau

Medisave & Integrated Shield Plans Approved

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Certain Orthopaedic procedures done at our Clinic is claimable under Medisave and Integrated Shield Plans.

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Evidence-Based Treatments Centred Around Your Needs

Our doctors are trained and highly experienced in diagnosing and treating orthopaedic conditions of the knee. We aim to provide you with quality care by thoroughly assessing your condition and personalising your treatments to your needs and goals.

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