Meniscal Transplantation

Orthopedic Surgery & Joint Replacement located in Walnut Creek, Sacramento and San Francisco, CA

If knee pain has slowed down your active life and you hope to avoid a knee replacement, the Joint Preservation Institute, with offices in Sacramento, Walnut Creek, and the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood in San Francisco, California, offers meniscal transplantation. Experienced orthopedic surgeon Amir Jamali, MD, performs minimally invasive surgery when possible to ensure a lower risk of complications and set you on the path to healing faster. To learn more, contact the nearest office by phone or book an appointment online today.

What is meniscal transplantation?

Your meniscus is a cushion between your thigh bone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). Over time, this can become worn or torn from a forceful  knee twist. Meniscal transplantation replaces a damaged or missing meniscus cushion before your articular cartilage (the smooth tissue covering the ends of your joints) can be damaged. 

To be eligible for meniscal transplantation, you must:

  • Have a significant portion of your meniscus missing due to injuries or previous surgery
  • Be under the age of 45 and physically active
  • Be experiencing consistent pain related to activities
  • Have no or minimal osteoarthritis in the knee
  • Have no rheumatoid arthritis in the knee
  • You must be a healthy weight before surgery to ensure proper results

What can I expect from meniscal transplantation surgery?

You are asleep for the procedure. Dr. Jamali performs minimally invasive surgery whenever possible to ensure a lower risk of complications and faster recovery, so your procedure begins with tiny incisions.

He anchors your new meniscal tissue to the shinbone to stabilize your transplant and sews the soft tissue to the joint’s outer envelope. Meniscal transplantations have a low risk of complications; the most common include knee stiffness, incomplete healing, and reoperation. Most patients tolerate the surgery very well.

What happens after meniscal transplantation?

Keep your weight off the joint to allow proper healing. You should walk with crutches and wear a knee brace for four to six weeks after surgery to let the transplanted tissue attach securely to your bone.

Despite limiting weight-bearing activities that may seem counterintuitive, you should commence physical therapy quickly after surgery. Once your swelling subsides, you focus on exercises to manage pain, reactivate the muscles, and maintain range of motion. Over time, this regimen includes strength-building.

Take a couple of weeks off work to heal. If you have a strenuous job, you may need 3-4 months of rehabilitation before safely returning to work. Allow your body 6-12 months before returning to sports.

Everyone heals at a different rate; Dr. Jamali lets you know when it’s safe to resume activities.

You don’t have to give up the active life you love. To find out if you’re eligible for meniscal transplantation, contact the Joint Preservation Institute by phone or online today.