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Meniscus Transplantation
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for meniscus allograft preparation:


An arthroscopic-assisted surgical procedure performed to replace a severely degenerated meniscus. Two small incisions are made on the front of the knee. An arthroscopic camera and instruments are used to identify and remove remaining meniscus. A prepared graft is introduced into the knee and positioned appropriately using passing sutures. The graft is secured in place using elements of the meniscus root repair, inside-out meniscus repair, and frequently fitting a bone block into a prepared bone bed.


Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for lateral meniscus transplantation:

Common Questions about Meniscus Transplantation

What is a meniscus transplant?

A meniscus transplant is transplantation of a human donor meniscus into the knee to provide protective cushion to the knee.

Who is the ideal candidate for a meniscus transplant?

It is indicated in a young patient who has a meniscus deficient knee without the presence of grade 3 or 4 arthritis in the knee. It is a procedure meant to salvage the knee and prevent future arthritis of the knee.

How does a knee become so me success deficient it would require a transplant?

Typically a patient will have a history of multiple prior partial meniscectomies (partial meniscus removal) or a large bucket handle meniscus tear that was removed.

How is a meniscus transplant performed?

A meniscus transplant is an arthroscopic procedure done under camera visualization. The remnant meniscus is removed and the donor meniscus is sewn onto the knee joint capsule. For a lateral meniscus transplant a piece of bone attached to the meniscus is also transplanted.

What is the recovery after meniscus transplantation?

The patient is on crutches with limited weight bearing for 8 weeks. This is followed by physical therapy and return to activity over another 8 weeks.

What are the restrictions after a meniscus transplant?

A meniscus transplant is meant to protect the knee cartilage from early wear and to prevent the need for a premature knee replacement. There are technically no restrictions but cutting and pivoting sports are not recommended.

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