An injury to your knee can not only sideline you from your favorite activities, it can lead to lifelong degenerative issues if the problem isn’t repaired properly — which is especially true of your meniscus. While arthroscopy has changed the way we approach meniscal tears, this technique wasn’t without its limitations. Luckily, our own Dr. Justin D. Saliman came up with the perfect solution with his NovoStitch® Pro Meniscal Repair System.
At our practice, we specialize in orthopedic problems of every kind, helping our patients in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California, lead healthy, active lives. From your shoulders to your knees, we’ve got extensive experience in restoring function to your musculoskeletal system as quickly as possible. And while we avail ourselves of the most advanced techniques being used today, we’ve taken our approach one step further with Dr. Saliman’s invention of the NovoStitch Pro Meniscal Repair System.
Here’s a look at how we use this cutting-edge and effective technique to repair meniscal tears.
Meniscus tears 101
Your knees are the largest joints in your body, which makes sense given the enormity of their roles, allowing you to walk, run, jump, rotate, and stop, all while providing support for much for of your body. Critical in all of this are your mensici, two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that provide cushioning between your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone) while also providing overall stability within your joint.
When you tear this piece of cartilage, usually during athletic pursuits or as a result of degenerative problems, it can seriously hamper the overall function of your knee and lead to problems with mobility.
And not all meniscal tears are the same. The following are the different types of tears we see at our practice:
- Anterior horn tear
- Bucket handle tear
- Horizontal tear
- Complex tear
- Intrasubstance tear
- Root tear
- Radial tear
When you come in, our first order of business is assessing the location and extent of your tear so that we can determine the best solution for your unique situation.
Meniscal repairs with NovoStitch Pro
Knee arthroscopy has been around for several decades, and it’s been a game-changer when it comes to repairing the soft, connective tissue inside these joints. This minimally invasive approach allows us to repair most cartilage, ligament, tendon, and muscle problems without resorting to open surgery, which can lead to collateral damage.
The problem with meniscal tears is that, more often than not, the best solution is circumferential stitching, which allows us to align the edges of the tear perfectly and sew the top and bottom of the tear at the same time. But this technique was near impossible using arthroscopy, so most orthopedic surgeons would only sew the top side of a meniscal tear, leaving your knee vulnerable to re-tearing, as well as degenerative problems down the road.
Not one to sit idly by, Dr. Saliman came up with a solution that combines the best of both worlds — circumferential stitching and arthroscopy — with his NovoStitch Pro, which received FDA approval in 2012 as well as a 2015 Edison Award.
The device allows us to place a circumferential compression stitch because of its unique design, which features two “jaws” that place and deliver the stitch (the lower jaw is loaded with the suture material). Using the arthroscope, we determine the location and depth of these stitches and position the device to deliver sutures that compress both the top and bottom of your tear uniformly, bringing them together so that they can heal properly.
This technique greatly improves healing rates because of the alignment we mention above, but the NovoStitch Pro also offers several other advantages, including:
- Avoiding capsule entrapment to encourage more natural movement
- The small needle allows us to stitch your meniscus in line with the fibers in your tissue
- With the NovoStitch Pro, we avoid compromising surrounding neurovascular structures
Dr. Saliman performs most meniscal repairs on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to go home the same day.
Thanks to this advanced technique, you should heal more quickly, often regaining normal function within six weeks of your meniscal repair.
If you’d like to repair your meniscus the right way for results that serve you well for years to come, please give us a call at (310) 272-5937 or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.