In arthroscopic surgery for meniscus repair, an arthroscopic camera and instruments are inserted into the joint space through two small incisions in the knee. This allows a full inspection of the interior joint space.
Once the torn part of the meniscus is located, it is examined using a surgical hook. The loose and torn parts of the meniscus are then removed using an instrument that is a cross between scissors and a tissue punch. The serrated edges are then smoothed using a rotating burr to smooth the cartilage surface and remove the particles through suction.
If the meniscus tear is located near the joint capsule, then another procedure called meniscus repair may be performed. In that case, the torn cartilage is not removed, but repaired by suturing the torn edges of the meniscus back together. The disadvantage of meniscus repair is that a longer recovery period is required before weight bearing is permitted.