Meniscus tears are a frequent cause of pain in the knee. There is a meniscus of the inside of the knee (medial meniscus) and on the outside of the knee (lateral meniscus). Common complaints associated with meniscus tears are pain, "locking," and "catching" sensations.
Painful meniscus tears are commonly treated with minimally invasive arthroscopic repair. The "repair" can consist of removing the portion of the meniscus that is torn, better described as partial resection . A true "repair" involves securing the torn portion of the meniscus with suture or a device that combines specialized anchors and suture to allow the meniscus to heal. The decision to repair or resect the meniscus is based on the location of the tear. The blood supply to the meniscus comes from the periphery and only penetrates the outer portion of the tissue. If a tear occurs in the inner portion where there is no blood supply, there is little to no chance that the tear will heal. When the tear is in the region with a blood supply, repair can be attempted. Age has a significant factor in the success of repair.