Management of Meniscial Injury


Q: Hello,

I am an active young adult and I had a complete removal of my medial meniscus after an injury about a year and a half ago. Since then I have worn a knee brace when I play sports. Unfortunately I cannot where the knee brace when I dance because it impedes my movement too much.

To compliment my dancing I have recently started learning acrobatic flips and aerial maneuvers. I have researched the roll of the medial meniscus and found that it works as a shock absorber in the knee so I am worried about how my physical activity is/will affect my knee. Since my surgery I have not regained the ability to squat all the way down with out pain.

My main questions are:

1. should I be worried about the state of my knee without a medial meniscus?

2.Is dancing without a knee brace too risky?

3.Does it make sense to have a second surgery to replace the meniscus with muscle tissue from my hamstring? This was an option given by my doctor but he would not specify how this would affect my hamstring. I plan to complete on an inter-university level in track and field so any detriment to my hamstring would be a big blow.

Thank you for your help.


A:   As you have rightly stated, the meniscus aids in shock absorption. Its absence will affect the type of activities in which you are able to participate. This includes dancing as well. If you intend to compete in sports, then surgery to replace the meniscus is the best option for you. There will be an intense and lengthy rehabilitation program after the procedure. The rehabilitation process is designed to ensure you are able to return to highest possible level of activity. It may take 12 weeks or longer and may include a period of not walking. In the interim you should continue to wear your knee brace during all sporting activities as well as dancing.

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