Meniscectomy refers to the surgical removal or a portion or all of a torn meniscus. A meniscus tear is a commonly occurring knee joint injury.

An orthopedic surgeon will consider the meniscus’s ability to heal, as well as the patient’s health, age, and activity level while making surgical decisions.

Orthopedic Institute of the West, led by the accomplished board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brandon Gough provides treatments for the knee, shoulder and hips to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and surrounding communities.



The surgeon will recommend a treatment that they believe will be most appropriate based on the location, pattern, and size of the tear. Sometimes, this decision is made by the surgeon during the surgery after assessing all these factors.

  • If the patient has a small tear at the meniscus’s outer edge (referred to by doctors as the red zone), they may recover with home remedies, and such tears usually heal with rest.
  • If the patient has a moderate to large tear at the meniscus’s outer edge, they may want to consider surgery. Such tears usually heal well with surgical intervention.
  • If the tear travels from the red zone into the inner two-thirds of the meniscus (known as the white zone), the decision on a treatment option becomes more challenging. Surgery may not successfully repair such tears.
  • If the patient has a tear in the white zone, they typically do not undergo surgery as the meniscus may not heal properly. However, the surgeon may perform partial meniscectomy if the torn meniscus fragments are leading to inflammation and pain.



The size and location of the tear, patient’s age, activity level, and preferences, and surgeon’s experience will determine the type of surgery. Orthopedic surgeons commonly undertake meniscus surgery as an arthroscopic procedure which can help them examine as well as repair the joint from within.

The surgeon will insert the surgical instruments through tiny incisions. While arthroscopic surgery may minimize knee damage and promote complete recovery, some tears will require open knee surgery.

The entire meniscus is excised in a total meniscectomy whereas in a partial meniscectomy, the surgeon will eliminate as little of the meniscus as possible. The surgeon will remove the loose meniscal pieces and smooth the remaining edges of the meniscus to ensure that there are no frayed ends.

The patient may undergo a meniscectomy under general or regional anesthesia. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is mostly undertaken as an outpatient procedure.



The injury, type of surgery, surgeon’s preference, as well as the patient’s age, health conditions, and activities will determine the rehab process. The duration may vary, but patients usually undergo a period of rest, walking, and performing specific exercises following meniscus surgery.

A majority of people who receive arthroscopic meniscectomy can bear weight one or two days following the surgery and resume full activity within two to four weeks. The patient can return to their previous level of activity after they can perform the full range of motion without any pain.

Compassionate board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brandon Gough receives patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and other towns and suburbs in this part of the country for knee, hip, and shoulder treatments.

For more information about hip and knee procedures and treatments by Arizona Board certified orthopedic surgeon, Brandon Gough, M.D., please click here or call us at 602-359-3088. Taking new patients in and around Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and surrounding Arizona cities.