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Arthroscopy. 2011 Jan;27(1):101-12. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2010.05.019. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Meniscal allograft transplantation.

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NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, New York, USA.



Meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT) has become an accepted treatment option for patients undergoing meniscectomy with recalcitrant pain in the corresponding compartment. Whether MAT can oppose cartilage degeneration is unclear. Our purpose was to perform a systematic review of available literature to answer the following: (1) Does MAT prevent advancing chondrosis? (2) Who is the ideal candidate for MAT? (3) What is the survival time for allograft in a stable knee? (4) Can MAT be successful when performed with concomitant procedures? (5) Is there an outcome difference between medial and lateral meniscal allograft transplants? (6) What is the expected function of a knee that has undergone MAT?


Two authors performed a systematic review of the literature pertaining to MAT. Included in the review are studies with at least 2 years' follow-up, studies with validated outcome measures, and studies in which the allograft meniscal horns were secured with bony fixation.


We identified 14 clinical articles that satisfied our inclusion and exclusion criteria. Thirteen of the articles provided Level IV evidence, and one article provided Level III evidence.


MAT can result in alleviation of knee pain, improvement in knee function, and good patient satisfaction if performed in the optimal candidate. Improvements in both objective and subjective outcome measures were shown in relatively young patients without significant chondromalacia who underwent concomitant procedures for cartilage defects, limb malalignment, and/or knee instability. We detected no significant difference in outcomes when comparing medial and lateral meniscal allograft transplants. We detected no significant difference when comparing isolated MAT with MAT performed with concomitant procedures.


Level IV, systematic review of Level III and IV studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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