Article

Meniscal Repair

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
Arthroscopy The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.19). 10/2009; 25(9):1033-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.arthro.2008.12.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The meniscus plays an important role in preventing osteoarthritis of the knee. Repair of a meniscal lesion should be strongly considered if the tear is peripheral and longitudinal, with concurrent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and in younger patients. The probability of healing is decreased in complex or degenerative tears, central tears, and tears in unstable knees. Age or extension of the tear into the avascular area are not exclusion criteria. Numerous repair techniques are available, and suture repair seems to provide superior biomechanical stability. However, the clinical success rate does not correlate well with the mechanical strength of the repair technique. Biologic factors might be of greater importance to the success of meniscal repair than the surgical technique. Therefore, the decision on the most appropriate repair technique should not rely on biomechanical parameters alone. Contemporary all-inside repair systems have decreased the operating time and the level of surgical skill required. Despite the ease of use, there is a potential for complications because of the close proximity of vessels, nerves, and tendons, of which the surgeon should be aware. There is no clear consensus on postoperative rehabilitation. Weight bearing in extension would most likely not be crucial in typical longitudinal lesions. However, higher degrees of flexion, particularly with weight bearing, give rise to large excursions of the menisci and to shear motions, and should therefore be advised carefully. Long-term studies show a decline in success rates with time. Further studies are needed to clarify the factors relevant to the healing of the menisci. Tissue engineering techniques to enhance the healing in situ are promising but have not yet evolved to a practicable level.

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