Project Description

The meniscus is a critical “mechanical pad” located within the knee, with one on the inside (medial) and the other outside (lateral). Meniscus tissue has little or no capacity to heal itself, as there is no blood (healing elements) within. Once the meniscus tears it typically causes pain, catching and mechanical disturbance within the knee requiring meniscal surgery. The symptoms may come and go, as the meniscus moves around within the joint. The meniscus typically tears in young people in the course of injury. Many meniscus tears, and most in adults over the age of around 30, occur without injury. A typical story involves getting up from a deep seat only to have the knee begin hurting.

Treatment is typically surgical for knees that are symptomatic, as the meniscus cannot heal itself. The surgery involves either debridement (clean up) or repair, depending upon the circumstance. Dr. Davidson specializes in meniscal repair, and, when appropriate, meniscal replacement.

Meniscal Debridement (clean up):

    • During the course of debridement the “torn bits” of the meniscus are removed, preserving as much of the healthy meniscus as possible
    • This is an arthroscopic procedure, performed as an outpatient, typically taking less than 15 minutes and allowing full walking and bending immediately. This is usually a very easy recovery.

Meniscal Repair:

  • Repair is especially critical in younger patients to protect the knee in years to come and help minimize or avoid early arthritic change. The meniscus provides important mechanical protection to the knee, so that repair allows restoration of normal or near normal mechanical function of the knee.
  • There are many different repair techniques and devices used to promote healing of meniscus tissue. Only by offering a large array of different repair options is Dr. Davidson best able to repair the torn meniscus in the wide variety of patterns that occur.
    • Modern meniscal fixation devices
    • Advanced inside to outside suture techniques
    • All inside suture techniques with the most modern suture deployment and tying apparatus.

Meniscal Replacement :
There are two way to replace symptomatically torn and absent meniscus tissue. Dr. Davidson offers both of these options for select, appropriate cases.

1. Allograft transplant:

      • This involves transplanting a specifically matched human donor meniscus into the patient’s knee.
      • Indications for this procedure include the painful absence of the meniscus in a younger person whose knee is stable, aligned and without advanced arthritis. Meniscus transplant is often combined with other procedures to restore the knee to optimum health.
      • Davidson has been doing Meniscus Allograft Transplantation for nearly 20 years.

2. Meniscal Scaffold Graft:

    • A scaffold graft is a biosynthetic material designed to facilitate ingrowth of tissue and facilitating healing together with the patients own cells, forming a new meniscus.
    • Davidson is a Principal Investigator, and the only regional surgeon in the Intermountain West, in a clinical trial of a meniscal scaffold called Actifit

What Some of Our Meniscal Surgery Patients Say.

Hello Dr. Davidson,

I don’t know if you remember me, but I was a patient of yours back in St. Pete. You performed a meniscal allograft and an ACL replacement on me back around 2003. It’s been awhile, but I wanted to thank you and your assistant Dennis for your help in getting me back up and active. I didn’t know you moved to Utah until I Googled you a few minutes ago. Anyway, I thought I would pass along the results from my latest effort in the Gasparilla 15k. It’s not spectacular, but 8:12 miles for a 46 year old guy with four knee operations isn’t too shabby either. I couldn’t have done it without your help.

Best of luck out in Park City. It’s a beautiful place.

Warmest Regards,
John C.
(Meniscal Allograft and an ACL Replacement)

John C., Meniscal Allograft and an ACL Replacement
Hello Dr. Phil Davidson.

You may or may not remember me, but I am Cynthia S, a former work comp patient of yours whom you treated at T.B.O.S. center in St. Pete. Over the years I got to know you, Dennis and your staff very well. You literally took my knee apart and put it back together. You did a tremendous amount of work on my right knee, and an arthroscopic surgery on my left (other) knee, as well. While I faced some difficulties due to the severity of my injury, you and your staff were with me all the way and I am very grateful. Needless to say, when I called Tampa Bay Orthopedics to schedule my annual appointment, I was speechless to learn that you had relocated to Utah.

The last time that I saw you, you had a USF student intern who was present when you examined me, and I wanted to tell her that no matter how much interning she completed, I hope that she will be the kind of doctor who is empathetic to ALL patients, as you have been with me. Your ability to do that was unlike any other doctor who had treated me in the past.

I have been in the work comp system since 1998, so you know that I have seen my share of snobby, cold, and unsympathetic doctors, just because the patient is work comp. Dr. Davidson, thank you very much for caring for me as if I were Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen, even though I was just plain old “Cynthia”! I thank you, and my entire family does too. I couldn’t figure out who was more upset with your relocation, my mom or me!

Like I said, over the years, since 2002 or 2003, I think, we got to know your staff very well, and I spent some time at the Palms of Pasadena Hospital. I could go on longer, but I won’t, I know that your time is quite valuable. Although we did not reach all of the goals that we set, I am truly grateful for the fact that you tried and I was able to reach many of my goals. You probably thought that in some way you had failed to helped me, but the fact that your effort was ABOVE and BEYOND, we were both WINNERS! The citizens of Utah have been blessed with a true public servant!

Thank you, Dr. Phil Davidson, and may God bless you and your family,
Cynthia S.
(Revision ACL Surgery, Osteochondral Allograft and Meniscal Transplant)

Cynthia S., Revision ACL Surgery, Osteochondral Allograft and Meniscal Transplant

Meniscal Surgery Presentations and Lectures Presented by Dr. Phil Davidson.

Dr. Davidson performs complex meniscal repair when possible. This is preferable to resecting or removing the meniscus. Meniscal repair helps to protect the articular cartilage and leads to long term joint health.