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Am J Sports Med. 2008 Aug;36(8):1489-95. doi: 10.1177/0363546508316771. Epub 2008 May 15.

Meniscal healing after meniscal repair: a CT arthrography assessment.

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  • 1Orthopaedic Department, Hopital Andre Mignot, Le Chesnay, France.



Studies evaluating healing of repaired meniscus are rare and primarily retrospective. The aim of this study was to assess whether there were different healing rates for arthroscopic meniscal repair with respect to the different zones of the meniscus.


This study was conducted to assess outcomes and to document anatomic characteristics of the repaired meniscus with postoperative arthrography combined with computed tomography (arthro-CT), particularly the dimensions and healing of the repaired meniscus.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


Fifty-three arthroscopic meniscal repairs were prospectively evaluated between 2002 and 2004 in 2 orthopaedic departments. There were 36 medial and 17 lateral torn menisci. All ACL tears (n = 31, 58.5%) underwent reconstruction. Patients were preoperatively evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical evaluation included International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scores before the operation and 6 and 12 months afterward. Healing criteria were evaluated at 6 months by arthro-CT scan. Three parameters were evaluated--healing in thickness (Henning criteria), overall healing rate, and reduction in the width of the remaining meniscus.


According to the objective IKDC score, 26 patients were graded A, 20 B, and 4 C (92% good results). The mean subjective IKDC score was 78.9 (standard deviation [SD], 16.2). According to Henning's criteria, 58% of the menisci healed completely, 24% partially, and 18% failed. The overall healing rate was 73.1% (SD, 38.5). Twenty tears located in the posterior part had a healing rate of 59.8% (SD, 46.0). Nineteen tears extending from the posterior to the middle part had a healing rate of 79.2% (SD, 28.2). Isolated tears located in the posterior part had a lower healing rate (P < .05). There was a 9% +/- 1.2% reduction in the width of the remaining medial meniscus in the middle and posterior repaired portions (P < .02). There was a 15% +/- 14% reduction in the width of the remaining lateral meniscus in the middle repaired portion (P < .01). Complete healing of the posterior segment was associated with reduction in the width of the meniscus (P < .04).


A modern technique using all-inside fixation or outside-in sutures provided good clinical and anatomic outcomes. No statistically significant effect on ACL reconstruction or laterality (medial vs lateral) on overall healing after meniscal repair was identified. Partial healing occurred often, with a stable tear on a narrowed and painless meniscus. The posterior segment healing rate remained low, suggesting a need for further technical improvements.

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