A meniscectomy is an outpatient, elective procedure to remove the torn meniscus in the knee. Typically, it is done as an arthroscopic procedure, where small incisions (approximately a centimetre long) are made to insert an arthroscope (a small surgical camera) and small instruments to remove parts or the entire meniscus.
Types of this procedure include:
- Partial meniscectomy: removes a small piece of the torn meniscus
- Total meniscectomy: removes the entire meniscus
In most cases, a partial meniscectomy is done to maximally preserve the cartilage, and total meniscectomies may even increase the risk of arthritis about 10 years down the road. This is because the meniscus is responsible for reducing stress on the knees through shock absorption, stability, and joint lubrication, without all of which any stress on the knee is often amplified by a factor of 3.