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  Medical Topics: 

  • Anterior Cruciate

  •         Ligament 
     
  • Articular cartilage

  •           Injury 
     
  •      Meniscus

  •  
  •        Patella

  •  
  • Degenerative Joint

  •          Disease 

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    MENISCUS
    1. Anatomy and Function: The menicus is a fibrocartilage cushion  
            that acts as a shock absorber in the knee joint. There is one  
            meniscus on each side of the joint...medial and lateral. Each  
            meniscus  is flat and C-shaped, partially enclosing the 
            surface on the tibia to deepen it and thereby add stability to 
            the knee. The surface area for contact between the femur and 
            the tibia is greatly increased by each menicus. This protects 
            the articular cartilage covering on the bones by keeping the  
            contact pressure to a minimum.  

    2. Injury: A torn meniscus can occur from a single injury or from  
            years of wear and tear. The typical injury is when the knee is  
            twisted or angulated  under load. If the meniscus is already  
            weak from aging, simple squats can cause a tear. Once torn,  
            the function of that part of the meniscus is lost, and pain 
            and swelling ensues.  
     
    3. Treatment: Simply stated, there is only one way to treat a torn  
            meniscus...surgery. Fortunately, we now have arthroscopic  
            technology available which allows us to perform the  
            operation through two tiny punctures. One portal is used for  
            a small telescope (arthroscope), the other is used for tiny  
            instruments. The tear in the meniscus usually produces an  
            unstable flap of tissue which must be removed. Some tears,  
            particularly in younger patients, can be repaired, thereby  
            saving this vital tissue and preserving its function. The  
            surgery lasts from 30 to 60 minutes and is performed as an  
            outpatient procedure. Rehabilitation begins almost  
            immediately and full recovery occurs at about 4 weeks.  

            If more than half the meniscus is removed, its function is  
            lost...and  articular cartilage degeneration will occur in that  
            part of the knee. This may  begin to cause pain within 2 to 5  
            years. MENISCUS TRANSPLANTATION is a procedure  
            where a meniscus from a human tissue bank is surgically  
            placed into a knee that is undergoing this degeneration. This  
            is a fairly new operation with about 10 years of follow-up.  
            The patient experiences relief of pain and increases his/her  
            activity in over 855 of the cases studied. It is our hope that  
            this procedure will delay or prevent the onset of articular  
            cartilage degeneration and destruction of the joint.  

     

            Dr. Yacobucci has had special training in meniscus  
            transplantation surgery and has performed over 80 of these  
            operations. He is currently participating in clinical research  
            to evaluate the longterm results of this procedure.  
     



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