My six-year-old just went through knee surgery to treat a torn discoid meniscus. I'm curious about which tissues were touched in the procedure (and are now of course now having to heal).

Disregarding the meniscus itself, are incisions made exclusively in the skin or are there additional parts (muscle? tendon?) that have to be cut to get to the interior of the joint?

Here are some details of my trouble finding an answer to this question myself. This fairly detailed article, for instance, mentions "incisions through skin, subcutaneous tissues, fascia and muscle," but doesn't get any more specific, and for the end of procedure, simply says, "The wounds are closed with non-absorbable sutures." And in a couple of videos I've sampled, it seems the procedure goes straight from making the portals through the skin, to doing the main part of the surgery.

  • Questions here are required to demonstrate some degree of prior research. You might begin by watching the video found here.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:58
  • 3
    This is an unnecessarily harsh "welcome message", @CareyGregory. Apologies perhaps that my research did not reach the point of a trek to the library or university, but I am familiar with StackExchange sites and the moderate amount of googling and reading I did was certainly adequate. I've watched a few of videos of portal placement even (and now the one you referred me to, thank you), and I'm still not clear if anything in addition to the skin has to be cut in order to access a meniscus.
    – Owen
    Nov 21, 2020 at 6:47
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    From your profile I can see that you've participated in a number of sites, but none of them are science and academic sites such as this one. Virtually all of the science and academic sites require questions to demonstrate some degree of prior research. Yours does not. So I chose to do the polite thing and nudge you in the right direction instead of outright closing your question. Sorry you find that unnecessarily harsh, but it's a requirement here. A better use of your time would have been doing that research and adding it to your question to avoid closure.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 21, 2020 at 16:02
  • 2

1 Answer 1


The video linked in the first comment to my question doesn't say what is cut to make the portals, but it does mention the existence of the knee "capsule" (cartilage, I believe).

I finally googled "portals through knee capsule" and the top result (Arthroscopic approach to the posterior compartment of the …) says, "The entry point skin and capsule are incised…". So I suppose with that, I may well have my answer. Thank you, Mr. Gregory.

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