Sometimes, a doctor discovers a discoid meniscus when evaluating the knee for a different problem. If the discoid meniscus is not causing any symptoms, then specific treatment for it may not be necessary.
When a discoid meniscus is causing pain, popping, or other symptoms, however, your orthopedic surgeon will probably recommend arthroscopic surgery.
Knee arthroscopy is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic surgical procedures.
During arthroscopy, the surgeon makes a few small incisions around the knee and inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen, and the surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.
Most arthroscopic surgeries are done on an outpatient basis. Patients usually go home a few hours after the procedure.
Anesthesia. To prevent pain during the procedure, the patient is given anesthesia. There are different types of anesthesia: Local and regional types of anesthesia numb just parts of the body, and the patient remains awake. General anesthesia puts the patient to sleep. Most children are given general anesthesia for arthroscopic surgery.
Surgical Procedure. Treatment will depend upon the type of discoid meniscus.
After surgery, your doctor may put your child’s knee in a brace or a soft bandage wrap. He or she may need to use crutches for a short period of time. Very young children may need a wheelchair for several weeks because they do not have the balance or strength to use crutches.
Once the initial healing is complete, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy exercises to restore strength and mobility. These may be done at home or with a physical therapist.
Most patients return to normal daily activities after arthroscopy for a discoid meniscus. However, if the entire meniscus was removed, there is a risk for continued pain and, potentially, early arthritis.
Surgeons sometimes recommend that patients avoid sports that overstress the knee with cutting type movements. These include soccer, tennis, basketball, and football.