Healthbeat 4: Meniscus transplant - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Healthbeat 4: Meniscus transplant


The meniscus is a C-Shaped cushion of cartilage in the knee joint.    

Meniscal tears are one of the most common injuries treated by Orthopaedic surgeons and typically happen in athletes or normal wear and tear of a joint. 

If torn and not treated patients can suffer from persistent knee pain and develop arthritis.

However, instead of living in pain or going through an invasive total knee replacement there's another option. 

"In a patient who is young and active who has very early arthritis in the knee and good alignment they may be a good candidate for a meniscus transplant," said Dr. Carreau.

Often times candidates have had a large meniscal tear that isn't repairable and/or is under the age of 50. 

Once a patient has been deemed a good candidate for a meniscus transplant -- the patient goes through a series of scans to get measurements of their meniscus.

Dr. Carreau says those measurements are then recorded into a donor bank.

"Their knee is sized matched to a donor, so if another young patient with a healthy meniscus has donated their organ to transplant, their knee will be sized matched to a donor," said Dr. Carreau. 

Dr. Carreau says it could take few weeks to find a donor match.

"And then the donor meniscus is placed back into the knee in the same position as the old meniscus was," said Dr. Carreau. 

It takes about four to six months after surgery to gain full mobility and strength back in the knee.

However, Dr. Carreau says important for patients to know this isn't a long term fix.

"They ultimately will need some level of a knee replacement or some sort of realignment surgery at some point in their life," "It's just a temporary fix for their pain and disability and improving their short term activities and in the long run they may need more surgery."

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