What is a meniscal transplant?
The menisci perform a critically important job in the knee to provide stability, to act as a cushion against compressive loads, and to ensure overall joint health. Generally, a surgeon should repair a meniscal tear whenever possible. In some cases, however, the menisci may be irreparable and a large part needs to be removed.
Meniscal transplantation is a reasonable option in young, active patients with symptomatic meniscal deficiency following the removal of a large portion of the meniscus. Meniscal transplantation is indicated in patients < 40 years old with an absent or non-functioning meniscus. The patient has pain on the side of the deficient meniscus, swelling, and has difficulty with activities of daily living or sports.
If transplantation is indicated, either a medial or lateral meniscal allograft is obtained from a donor. The surgical procedure is performed arthroscopically where the meniscus is then sutured into place.