Arthroscopic Meniscectomy
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used in the treatment of sports medicine injuries. It involves the use of a fiber-optic camera, which we place into a joint through a small incision in order to visualize ligaments, cartilage, and soft tissue. Through another small incision, we can then use small instruments to remove or repair broken or damaged tissue.

Arthroscopy of the knee with a partial meniscectomy is performed for patients who have a meniscus tear that is not repairable. These patients have usually undergone physical therapy and conservative treatment without resolution of symptoms. It is very rare to remove the entire meniscus, as this will predispose patients for early cartilage wear. Therefore, a partial meniscectomy is performed where only the damaged or torn part of the meniscus is removed.

Arthroscopy of the knee with partial meniscectomy requires two small incisions in the front of the knee. Once the tear is visualized, the torn edges are shaved or bitten away using small instruments. This will leave a smooth edge of the meniscus so the patient can move the knee without any catching or locking sensation.

Postoperative Instructions:


  • You can walk and bend your knee as much as tolerated.  Use your crutches for the first week.  Do not go for long walks or stand on your feet for extended periods of time.  This will cause swelling and pain.


  • An ice machine will be provided to you prior to your surgery. This will help decrease swelling and pain after your surgery. Use the ice machine as much as possible when you get home at intervals of 30 minutes on and off. You should keep the ice machine for approximately two weeks. Do not use the ice machine while you are sleeping.
  • In addition to icing your knee, elevate your knee so your toes are above your nose. This elevates your knee above your heart and will help reduce swelling.


  • An injection of local anesthesia was injected into your knee after the completion of the operation. This medication will wear off in 5 to 6 hours. Therefore, begin taking the pain medication (e.g. Vicodin, Percocet, etc) immediately when you get home. This will prevent you from having severe pain. Take the pain medication every 4 hours until you go to bed.
  • The day after surgery you can take 600 mg of Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) every 6 hours to help with inflammation and pain. This medication will help cut down the use of narcotic-based pain medication. However, if you still have pain after taking the Ibuprofen, continue taking the pain medication every 4-6 hours as needed.
  • A sleeping medication (e.g. Ambien) is also provided to help you sleep at night. Take one tablet 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.


  • Keep the ACE wrap clean and dry. You may shower the next day after surgery with a plastic bag over your knee. Do not take a bath or submerge your knee in water until your incisions are checked at your first post-op visit.
  • Two days after surgery you may remove the entire dressing and get your incisions wet in the shower. Gently wash the wounds with soap and warm water and towel dry. You may then cover the incisions with band-aids until your post op visit.


  • You may drive 3 to 5 days after surgery if you are not taking pain medication. If your right leg is the operative side, then you must have good control of your leg prior to driving.


  • Please call the office prior to, or immediately following, your surgery in order to schedule a postoperative appointment. This should be scheduled 7-10 days after surgery. At that visit your stitches will be removed and you will be given a prescription to begin physical therapy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our assistant at (310) 659-2910 extension 3048.

Download the postoperative instructions for your procedure (PDF) 


Recovery Timeline:

Day of surgery: Arrive one to two hours prior to surgery. Procedure will take approximately one hour, and recovery time is one hour. For immediate post-op instructions, download the instruction sheet.

One week post-op: First follow-up visit with Dr. Snibbe/Jennifer. Your stitches will be taken out. You will continue icing the surgical area two to three times a day (or more if needed). Physical therapy will begin at this time.

Four weeks post-op: Second follow-up visit. Physical therapy will continue to work on range of motion and strengthening exercises for the thigh, hip, and buttocks as needed.

Eight weeks post-op: Third follow-up visit. Range of motion and strength testing. Pain and swelling should be mostly resolved.

Twelve weeks post-op: Fourth follow-up visit. Range of motion and strength testing. You should feel stronger and have very little pain, if any. Near to full recovery is expected at this time.

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