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Am J Sports Med. 2008 Jul;36(7):1283-9. doi: 10.1177/0363546508314411. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Arthroscopic repair of isolated meniscal tears in patients 18 years and younger.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Sports Medicine Center, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



Isolated meniscal tears in the skeletally immature patient are infrequent but well-recognized injuries. Although few studies have evaluated the pediatric and adolescent population, arthroscopic surgical repair remains the standard of care for patients in this age group with unstable meniscal tears.


To review our results of arthroscopic repair of isolated meniscal tears in pediatric and adolescent patients to further define future management of these injuries.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


The records of all patients 18 years old or younger who underwent isolated meniscal repair between 1990 and 2005 were retrospectively reviewed. Forty-four patients (6 girls, 38 boys) with an average age of 15.8 years (range, 9.9-18.7 years) were included in this study, for a total of 45 isolated meniscal tears. Clinical examinations were performed, International Knee Documentation Committee forms were administered, and Tegner scores were determined at an average of 5.8 years (range, 2.5 months-13.8 years) postoperative follow-up. Three patients were lost to follow-up.


The clinical success rate of arthroscopic meniscal repair was 80% for simple tears, 68% for displaced bucket-handle tears, and 13% for complex tears. Seventeen menisci (38% overall) failed initial repair at a mean of 17 months (range, 3-61 months) postoperatively and underwent repeat arthroscopic surgery (15 partial meniscectomies, 2 rerepair). The average Tegner and International Knee Documentation Committee scores were 8 (range, 5-9) and 89.4 (range, 79-99), respectively, at the time of final follow-up. Risk factors for failure included complex tears and rim width greater than 3 mm.


Clinically successful repair of an isolated meniscal tear in patients 18 years or younger was variable depending on tear type, with complex tears and rim width 3 mm or greater being negative prognostic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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