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J Orthop Res. 2012 Jun;30(6):934-42. doi: 10.1002/jor.22010. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Effect of partial meniscectomy at the medial posterior horn on tibiofemoral contact mechanics and meniscal hoop strains in human knees.

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Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics, Center of Musculoskeletal Research, University of Ulm, Helmholtzstr. 14, Ulm 89081, Germany.


We examined the influence of partial meniscectomy of 10 mm width on 10 human cadaveric knee joints, as it is performed during the treatment of radial tears in the posterior horn of the medial meniscus, on maximum contact pressure, contact area (CA), and meniscal hoop strain in the lateral and medial knee compartments. In case of 0° and 30° flexion angle, 20% and 50% partial meniscectomy did not influence maximum contact pressure and area. Only in case of 60° knee flexion, 50% partial resection increased medial maximum contact pressure and decreased the medial CA statistically significant. However, 100% partial resection increased maximum contact pressure and decreased CA significantly in the meniscectomized medial knee compartment in all tested knee positions. No significant differences were noted for meniscal hoop strain. From a biomechanical point of view, our in vitro study suggests that the medial joint compartment is not in danger of accelerated cartilage degeneration up to a resection limit of 20% meniscal depth and 10 mm width. Contact mechanics are likely to be more sensitive to partial meniscectomy at higher flexion angles, which has to be further investigated.

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