The Knee Manicure


Steve Mora MD

Some meniscus tears of the knee just don’t do well with nonsurgical treatment. When patients fail to get better with nonsurgical treatment, knee arthroscopy can help. Unfortunately when the tear is complex (see pics) the torn fragments cannot be sewn together. 

Although the goal is to always preserve good meniscus tissue and repair when possible, some tears are not the type that can be repaired. These types of tears are usually complex (a lot of small pieces) or appear as unstable non vascularized flaps of tissue. 

The only option is to trim the torn pieces (partial meniscectomy). By removing the torn fragments the pain that is caused by the loose fragments will usually improve. In some cases there is some residual chronic pain probably because the shock absorbency affect of the meniscus is partially lost. In some cases residual or chronic pain is due to the development of arthritis 

Here are pictures of complex meniscus tears in 3 different patients. All three underwent trimming of the torn meniscus. 

When I describe the procedure to patients I like to describe it as a knee manicure. The goal is to Trim, Smooth and Buff the torn pieces. It’s like hangnail surgery but much more complex.

Pictures of complex medial meniscus tears

Here is a before and after the “knee manicure” or partial medial Meniscectomy 

If you’d like to see the difference between a trimming which is technically called a partial Meniscectomy versus a repair please visit my YouTube link:
Please let me know if I can be of service. For a consultation please call Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center in the City Of Orange 714-332-5498