Complications of Meniscus Surgery

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Meniscus surgery and in particular arthroscopic meniscectomy remains one of the most commonly performed arthroscopic orthopedic procedures. The prevalence of meniscal pathology and increased numbers of procedures being performed has placed meniscus surgery within the forefront and mainstream of orthopedic practice. There have been numerous significant advances in the approach to meniscal tears as a better understanding of the biomechanical function and importance of the menisci has evolved. Concurrently, technical improvements and novel methodologies particularly in the area of arthroscopy have heightened the precision and refined the approach to carrying out meniscal resection and more specifically meniscal repair. This has increased the demand for predictable and successful outcomes after meniscal surgery and raised the interest in treatment complications and morbidity. Although arthroscopic meniscal surgery may be incorrectly assumed to be routine and infrequently associated with morbidity, complications do in fact occur and untoward incidents and complications may actually go underreported. More recently, as all-arthroscopic methods continue to evolve particularly as far as newer meniscal repair techniques are concerned, complications that are uniquely associated with these updated techniques and their attendant learning curves may be encountered. Various meniscal surgical complications are described and reported. The approach to these complications is reviewed both in terms of recognition of morbidity as well as prevention and treatment.

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