Meniscus Tear Type

Meniscectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus. A meniscus tear is a common knee joint injury. Surgeons who perform meniscectomies (orthopaedic surgeons) will make surgical decisions based on the meniscus’s ability to heal as well as your age, health, and activity level.

Your doctor will likely suggest the treatment that he or she thinks will work best for you based on where the tear is, the pattern of the tear, and how big it is. Your age, your health, and your activity level may also affect your treatment options. In some cases, the surgeon makes the final decision during surgery, when he or she can see the how strong the meniscus is, where the tear is, and how big the tear is.

  • If you have a small tear at the outer edge of the meniscus (in what doctors call thered zone), you may want to try home treatment. These tears often heal with rest.
  • If you have a moderate to large tear at the outer edge of the meniscus (red zone), you may want to think about surgery. These kinds of tears tend to heal well after surgery.
  • If you have a tear that spreads from the red zone into the inner two-thirds of the meniscus (called the white zone), your decision is harder. Surgery to repair these kinds of tears may not work.
  • If you have a tear in the white zone of the meniscus, repair surgery usually isn’t done, because the meniscus may not heal. But partial meniscectomy may be done if torn pieces of meniscus are causing pain and swelling.

There are different types of meniscus tears. The pattern of the tear may determine whether a tear can be repaired. Horizontal and flap tears typically require surgical removal of at least part of the meniscus.

Meniscus Tear Type

How Meniscectomy done for a Meniscus Tear

The choice of type of surgery is based on the size and location of the tear, your age and activity level, the surgeon’s experience, and your preferences. Orthopedic surgeons most often perform meniscus surgery with arthroscopy, a procedure used to both examine and repair the inside of a joint. A thin tube (arthroscope) containing a camera and light is inserted through small incisions near the joint. Surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions. Arthroscopic surgery may limit knee damage from surgery and may promote fuller recovery. But some tears may require open knee surgery.

Knee arthroscopy external view

In a total meniscectomy, the entire meniscus is removed. In a partial meniscectomy, the surgeon removes as little of the meniscus as possible. Unstable meniscal fragments are removed, and the remaining meniscus edges are smoothed so that there are no frayed ends.

You may have general or regional anaesthesia for a meniscectomy. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is commonly done in an outpatient surgical center.

What To Expect After Meniscectomy for a Meniscus Tear

Rehabilitation (rehab) varies depending on the injury, the type of surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon’s preference, and your age, health status, and activities. Time periods vary, but meniscus surgery is usually followed by a period of rest, walking, and selected exercises. Most people who have arthroscopic meniscectomy can bear weight a day or two after surgery and can return to full activity within 2 to 4 weeks. After the full range of motion without pain is possible, you can return to your previous activity level.

The timetable for returning to walking, driving, and more vigorous activities will depend on the type and extent of the surgery and your success in rehab.

Why Meniscectomy Is Done

A decision to remove all or part of your meniscus will take into consideration the location, length, tear pattern, and stability of the tear as well as the condition of the whole meniscus. Your surgeon will also consider the condition of the entire knee, your age, and any age- or injury-related degeneration.

If a meniscus tear is causing pain or swelling, it probably means that torn pieces of the meniscus need to be removed and the edges surgically shaved to make the remaining meniscus smooth. Your orthopaedic surgeon will try to preserve as much meniscal tissue as possible to prevent long-term degeneration of your knee and allow you to return to full activities.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to make an appointment to see our orthopaedic specialist regarding meniscectomy today.

A meniscus tear is a common injury to the cartilage that stabilizes and cushions the knee joint. The type of the tear can determine whether your tear can be repaired. Radial tears sometimes can be repaired, depending on where they are located. Horizontal, flap, long-standing, and degenerative tears – those caused by years of wear and tear – generally cannot be repaired.

Your doctor will likely suggest the treatment that he or she thinks will work best for you based on the zone where the tear is, the pattern of the tear, and how big it is. Your age, your health, and your activity level may also affect your treatment options. In some cases, the surgeon makes the final decision during surgery, when he or she can see the how strong the meniscus is, where the tear is, and how big the tear is.

Repair of the Meniscus

  • If you have a small tear at the outer edge of the meniscus, you may want to try home treatment. These tears often heal with rest.
  • If you have a moderate to large tear at the outer edge of the meniscus, you may want to think about surgery. These kinds of tears tend to heal well after surgery.
  • If you have a tear that spreads into the inner two-thirds of the meniscus, your decision is harder. Surgery to repair these kinds of tears may not work.
  • If you have a tear in the meniscus, repair surgery usually isn’t done, because the meniscus may not heal. But partial meniscectomy may be done if torn pieces of meniscus are causing pain and swelling.

Our surgeon uses arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus. The surgeon inserts a thin tube (arthroscope) containing a camera and a light through small incisions near the knee and is able to see inside the knee without making a large incision. Surgical instruments can be inserted through other small incisions. The surgeon repairs the meniscus using sutures (stitches).

Knee arthroscopy external view

Other knee injuries—most commonly to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)—may occur at the same time as a torn meniscus. In these cases, the treatment plan is altered. Typically, your orthopedist will repair your torn meniscus, if needed, at the same time ACL surgery is done. In this case, the ACL rehabilitation plan is followed.

What To Expect After Meniscus Repair

Your surgeon may recommend that you limit the motion before you resume to daily activities. Physical therapy may or may not be necessary after the surgery. But heavy stresses, such as running and squats, should be postponed for some months. You must follow your doctor’s rehabilitation (rehab) plan for optimum healing.

Why It Meniscus Repair Is Done

How your doctor treats a meniscus tear depends upon the size and location of the tear, your age, your health and activity level, and when the injury occurred. Treatment options include nonsurgical treatment with rest, ice, compression, elevation, and physical therapy and surgical repair. If the meniscus can be repaired successfully, saving the injured meniscus by doing a meniscal repair reduces the occurrence of knee-joint degeneration.

Small tears located at the outer edge of the meniscus often heal on their own. Larger tears located toward the center of the meniscus may not heal well, because blood supply to that area is poor. In a young person, surgery to repair the tear may be the first choice, because it may restore function.

What To Think About

If surgical meniscus repair is indicated, the procedure should be done as soon as possible after the injury. But if the tear is minor and you choose to put off a surgery to see if the meniscus tear heals on its own, a later repair may still heal the meniscus properly.

You may be able to prevent long-term complications such as osteoarthritis with successful surgical repair of your tear. Successful meniscus repair may save meniscal cartilage and reduce the stress put on the knee joint, thereby lowering the risk of osteoarthritis.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to make an appointment to see our orthopaedic surgeon regarding your meniscus tear today.

Knee arthroscopy external view

Arthroscopy is a keyhole surgery whereby a mini camera is inserted into the joint through small cuts in the skin, allowing the surgeon to see the inside of the joint. Instruments are inserted through other small incision to repair the joint. Arthroscopy for rheumatoid arthritis can help to improve the symptoms to much extent, but it does not cure the underlying rheumatoid arthritis condition.

Knee arthroscopy external view

What To Expect After Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is usually done as a day surgery, there is no need to stay overnight in the hospital. Three day’s later after the surgery, the dressing will be changed in the clinic. For knee, hip or ankle arthroscopy, you may need to use crutches if you are not able to weight bear.

Why Arthroscopy Is Done?

Arthroscopy for rheumatoid arthritis is done to treat large joints such as hip, shoulder and knee. The procedure of an arthroscopy include:

  • Cleaning and removing debris from the joint.
  • Removing loose bodies (pieces of bones or cartilage floating) from the joint.
  • Shave out rough or irregular joint surfaces.
  • Removal of inflamed tissues  in the joints.

Arthroscopy is not suitable for severe damage to the joint.

How Well Does Arthroscopy Works?

Arthroscopy provides pain relief to a certain extent and sometimes it can help to improve the range of movement.

Risks of Arthroscopy

As with all other surgery, there is a risk in arthroscopy. However, the risk is small such as infection or bleeding in the joint.

What To Think About Should You Decide for Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy helps for many conditions as it provides a window for the surgeon to view the actual condition of the joint and the surgeon can perform repair at the same time. Bear in mind, arthroscopy for rheumatoid arthritis can help with the symptoms but it does not cure the underlying rheumatoid arthritis disease.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24hr) to fix an appointment to see our orthopaedic surgeon to discuss arthroscopy for rheumatoid arthritis in detail today.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction Programme


We have designed this Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Programme for sportsmen or any individual who needs to get back to sports or daily activities in a safe, fast and effective method.

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four primary ligaments around the knee joint. It is the major stabilising ligament of the knee. The ACL can be injured by trauma or sports. If the ligament is completely torn, it will not heal. At the time of injury, the following may occur:

  • a “POP” from the injured knee
  • rapid development of a swollen knee
  • inability to continue playing the game
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear

The primary aim of the ACL programme is to achieve a stable knee so as to prevent further injuries to the meniscus and cartilage of the joint and the secondary aim is to enable patients to return to their favourite sports activities. This is a unique and comprehensive treatment programme specifically tailored for patients with an ACL injury.

ACL Reconstruction Surgery


During this surgery, the remnants of your torn ACL need to be removed, and a similar ligament from somewhere else around your knee is inserted in the place of the original ACL.

The grafts used are the medial hamstring tendons, the central third of your patellar tendon and occasionally, an “allograft” from a cadaver. You may speak to our surgeon regarding the advantages and disadvantages of these grafts.

How this programme will help you


The team will help you understand your injury and treatment options by providing relevant information and instructional aids. Your progress in this programme will be closely monitored by the attending Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Physiotherapist who will be with you until the end of your treatment.

You will have access to the latest technology and gym equipment to help you recover.

You will be trained on how to prevent future knee ligament injuries.

Who it is for


For people with ACL injuries to achieve a stable knee and prevent further injuries to the meniscus and cartilage of the joint and who want to return to their active lifestyle.

Call +65 64712674 (24 hour) to make an appointment to speak to our knee surgeon regarding your ACL Injury today.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Kevin Yip

What is arthroscopic knee surgery (keyhole surgery)?

It is usually a day case surgical procedure in which the inside of the knee is examined with a camera inserted through small cuts in the skin (usually one cut on each side of the knee cap). In most cases, performing the corrective surgery at the same time can solve the problem. In some cases further operation may be required.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Kevin Yip

When should I have an arthroscopy?

In the majority of cases, surgery for torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), torn meniscus, removal of a loose piece of bone, biopsy and articular cartilage lesions can be performed using special instruments. The advantage of arthroscopic surgery over conventional surgery is less pain and usually quicker recovery.

Investigation required before surgery

At times, clinical examination would be sufficient to identify the problem. However, sometimes we may need to do some investigation to ascertain the root cause.

  • a magnetic scan (MRI) to ascertain the problem affecting the knee.
  • an x-ray of the knee joint may be needed.
  • in some cases a simple blood test and ECG (tracing of heart) may be required.