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Am J Sports Med. 2010 Aug;38(8):1542-8. doi: 10.1177/0363546510364052. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Long-term outcome after arthroscopic meniscal repair versus arthroscopic partial meniscectomy for traumatic meniscal tears.

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Thomas Stein, Department of Sports Traumatology, Knee, and Shoulder Surgery, BG Trauma Center Frankfurt am Main, Friedberger Landstrasse 430, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.



The influence of standard meniscus treatment strategies regarding osteoarthritic progress, function, and sports activity has not been estimated in a direct long-term comparison.


Meniscal repair compared with partial meniscectomy (partial meniscal resection) decreases osteoarthritic changes and reduces the effect on sports activity in the long-term follow-up.


Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.


Eighty-one patients with an arthroscopic meniscus shape-preserving surgery after isolated traumatic medial meniscal tear (repair: n = 42; meniscectomy: n = 39) were examined clinically (Lysholm score, Tegner score) and radiologically (Fairbank score, compared with the uninjured knee); the follow-up was divided into midterm (3.4 years; n = 35) and long term (8.8 years; n = 46). Additionally, the influences of the preoperative sports activity level and age at surgery were evaluated.


In the long-term follow-up, no osteoarthritic progress was detectable in 80.8% after repair compared with 40.0% after meniscectomy (P = .005) with significant benefit for the "young" subgroup (P = 0.01). The preinjury activity level was obtained in 96.2% after repair compared with 50% after meniscectomy (P = .001). The function score revealed no significant difference between these strategies (P = .114). The athletes showed a significantly reduced loss of sports activity after repair compared with the athletes after meniscectomy (P = .001).


Arthroscopic meniscal repair offers significantly improved results for isolated traumatic meniscal tears regarding the long-term follow-up in osteoarthritis prophylaxis and sports activity recovery compared with partial meniscectomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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