How can you know if a meniscal repair failed?

If you are having pain or other symptoms after undergoing surgery, how can you know that it’s serious and not healing the way it should? In this week’s Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer the question from a reader who wonders how she could know that her meniscus surgery wasn’t healing normally.

Mary asks:

What are the failure symptoms of an arthroscopic repair of a bucket handle lateral meniscus tear? What method would best confirm failure of the meniscus repair?

A meniscus repair involves sewing the meniscus back together. This surgery is different than trimming out the torn portion – a partial meniscectomy. While the success rates of meniscal repair surgeries are good, they aren’t perfect. Up to 20% of them don’t heal.

What is the ONE question to ask to know if you should see a doctor for your knee injury?

In this video, I discuss common symptoms a patient might have if the repair didn’t heal. I also explain the best test that could show the repair hasn’t healed and why a regular MRI might miss that fact.

Also read:
Meniscus repairs that don’t heal
Failure rates of meniscus repairs

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

Do you have knee pain, or have you suffered a knee injury? Watch this video series on knee injuries in sports and exercise!

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david-headshot I am an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina.

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