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Partial Meniscectomy
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for partial medial meniscectomy of parrot beak tear:


An arthroscopic procedure performed to remove torn fragments of meniscus that will not heal and that cause pain and swelling in the knee. Two small incisions are made on the front of the knee. An arthroscopic camera and instruments are used to identify and remove torn meniscal flaps and fragments. Care is taken to remove only as much tissue as is necessary to relieve a patient’s symptoms and prevent further tearing.

Common Questions about Partial Meniscectomy

What is the meniscus?

The meniscus is a C-shaped thickened cartilage cushion that functions as a shock absorber in the knee. Each knee has two mensici - a medial and a lateral one.

What is a partial meniscectomy?

A partial meniscectomy is an arthroscopic procedure that removes the torn part of a meniscus.

Do I need a partial meniscectomy?

Not all meniscus tears require surgery. If you have mechanical symptoms such as clicking, locking, or discomfort when torquing your knee you may be a candidate. If you have arthritis in your knee then you are not a good candidate. In other words if your knee has other reasons to be painful or have symptoms then a partial meniscectomy is not likely to solve all of the symptoms.

What is the long term implication of removing part of my meniscus?

Losing part of your meniscus puts you at risk for premature arthritis of your knee. However, if you have a torn meniscus that is untreated then the tear can extend and worsen. Additionally your torn meniscus is not functioning as a full shock absorber. However, partial meniscectomy is only indicated for symptomatic tears.

What is the rehabilitation like after surgery?

The patient uses crutches for 1 week and is allowed to gently bear weight. For an additional three weeks running, jumping, hiking, and sports are prohibited.

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Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for partial lateral meniscectomy:

Dr. Chen’ surgical technique for partial medial meniscectomy for flap tear:

Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for partial meniscectomy with parameniscal cyst using submeniscal portal:

Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for partial meniscectomy for bucket handle meniscus tear:

Dr. Chen’s presentation on bucket handle meniscus
tears: