Meniscal repair.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
Arthroscopy The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.1). 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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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Despite the well-documented advantages of meniscal repair over meniscectomy, horizontal cleavage tears (HCTs) are often not repaired. Reported reasons include difficulty performing the repair, potential suture failure due to mechanical stresses, and poor healing rates. In addition, many surgeons have the perception that debriding the tear until the superior and inferior laminae are stable results in a good clinical outcome. Furthermore, many of the tears occur in patients who are older than the generally accepted indicated age for repair and may also have a degenerative component, making them potentially less likely to benefit from repair. This review was performed to evaluate the published outcomes of HCT repairs and test the hypothesis that surgically repaired HCTs have an unacceptably low rate of success. Methods A systematic search of the PubMed and Embase databases was performed in December 2013 to identify studies in which meniscal HCTs were repaired. Inclusion criteria for the analysis were English language, reference to a patient with an HCT repaired by any method, and a report of at least 1 postoperative outcome. For the purposes of this review, a failed outcome was defined as the need for reoperation. Results More than 16,000 abstracts were returned in the search. From these abstracts, we identified 210 articles for further review, of which 9 met the inclusion criteria. A total of 98 repairs of horizontal tears were evaluated in these studies. By use of reoperation as the criterion for treatment failure, 77 of the repairs were successful, for an overall success rate of 77.8%. Conclusions The literature does not support the hypothesis that surgically repaired HCTs have an unacceptably low rate of success. Rather, our results show that existing studies of repaired HCTs show a comparable success rate to repairs of other types of meniscal tears. Level of Evidence Level IV, systematic review of Level IV studies.
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    ABSTRACT: The meniscus plays important roles in knee function and mechanics and is characterized by a heterogeneous matrix composition. The changes in meniscus vascularization observed during growth suggest that the tissue-specific composition may be the result of a maturation process. This study has the aim to characterize the structural and biochemical variations that occur in the swine meniscus with age. To this purpose, menisci were collected from young and adult pigs and divided into different zones. In study 1, both lateral and medial menisci were divided into the anterior horn, the body and the posterior horn for the evaluation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), collagen 1 and 2 content. In study 2, the menisci were sectioned into the inner, the intermediate and the outer zones to determine the variations in the cell phenotype along with the inner–outer direction, through gene expression analysis. According to the results, the swine meniscus is characterized by an increasing enrichment in the cartilaginous component with age, with an increasing deposition in the anterior horn (GAGs and collagen 2; P < 0.01 both); moreover, this cartilaginous matrix strongly increases in the inner avascular and intermediate zone, as a consequence of a specific differentiation of meniscal cells towards a cartilaginous phenotype (collagen 2, P < 0.01). The obtained data add new information on the changes that accompany meniscus maturation, suggesting a specific response of meniscal cells to the regional mechanical stimuli in the knee joint.
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