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Arthroscopy. 2011 Dec;27(12):1644-53. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2011.06.033. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Arthroscopic suture anchor repair versus pullout suture repair in posterior root tear of the medial meniscus: a prospective comparison study.

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Center for Joint Disease, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, CHA Bundang Medical Center, Sung-Nam, South Korea.



To evaluate functional and radiographic results of arthroscopic suture anchor repair for posterior root tear of the medial meniscus (PRTMM) and compare with pullout suture repair.


From December 2006 to August 2008, 51 consecutive patients underwent arthroscopic repair of PRTMM at our hospital. The repair technique was switched over time from pullout suture repair (group 1) to suture anchor repair (group 2). Of the patients, 6 were lost to follow-up, leaving a study population of 45 patients, with 22 menisci (48.9%) in group 1 and 23 (51.1%) menisci in group 2. The mean follow-up duration was 25.9 months (range, 24 to 27 months) in group 1 and 26.8 months (range, 24 to 28 months) in group 2. Compared variables included International Knee Documentation Committee criteria, Kellgren-Lawrence grade, gap distance at PRTMM, structural healing, meniscal extrusion, and cartilage degeneration of the medial femoral condyle.


At 2 years postoperatively, both groups showed significant improvements in function (P < .05) and did not show significant differences in Kellgren-Lawrence grade (P > .05) compared with preoperatively. On magnetic resonance imaging, the gap distance at PRTMM was 3.2 ± 1.1 mm in group 1 and 2.9 ± 0.9 mm in group 2 preoperatively (P > .05). Complete structural healing was seen in 11 cases in group 1 and 12 cases in group 2 (P > .05). Mean meniscal extrusion of 4.3 ± 0.9 mm (group 1) and 4.1 ± 1.0 mm (group 2) preoperatively was significantly decreased to 2.1 ± 1.0 mm (group 1) and 2.2 ± 0.8 mm (group 2) postoperatively (P < .05). Regardless of repair technique, incompletely healed cases showed progression of cartilage degeneration (4 cases in group 1 and 2 cases in group 2).


For PRTMM, our results show significant functional improvement in both the suture anchor repair and pullout suture repair groups. Reduction of meniscal extrusion seems to be appropriate to preserve its protective role against progression of cartilage degeneration after complete healing at PRTMM.


Level III, prospective therapeutic comparative study.

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