Although the meniscus overall has a poor blood supply and poor healing ability, there are some instances when the meniscus can be repaired (sewn back together). This depends on the size and location of the tear, the age of the patient, and if the tear is associated with an ACL tear. The final decision regarding repair is made at the time of surgery. When a repair is performed, there may be another 1-2 inch incision on the inside or the outside of the knee.
The sutures we use only hold the meniscus in place while the body tries to heal the tissue. Consequently, we try to limit stress on the meniscus during the first six weeks after surgery by limiting weight bearing (with crutches) and knee flexion (with a brace). Because of the difficulty in getting the meniscus to heal, it is critical to follow the specific rehabilitation program. Activities such as squatting, kneeling, and running are not allowed for at least eight weeks following repair.