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Am J Sports Med. 2013 Dec;41(12):2772-8. doi: 10.1177/0363546513503444. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Risk factors for meniscectomy after meniscal repair.

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Stephen Lyman, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021.



Previous research suggests that a substantial percentage of meniscal repairs fail, resulting in a subsequent meniscectomy. Risk factors for failure have been investigated using small cohorts, providing ambiguous results.


To measure the frequency of and elucidate risk factors for subsequent meniscectomies after meniscal repair using a large study population from multiple surgical centers.


Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3.


A total of 9529 patients who underwent 9609 outpatient meniscal repairs between 2003 and 2010 were identified from a statewide database of all ambulatory surgery in New York. Patients who subsequently underwent a meniscectomy were then identified. A Cox regression analysis was used to calculate the hazard ratio and 95% confidence intervals. The model included patient age, sex, comorbidities, concomitant arthroscopic procedures, laterality of the meniscus, and surgeon's yearly meniscal repair volume.


The overall frequency of subsequent meniscectomies was 8.9%. Patients were at a decreased risk for subsequent meniscectomies if they underwent a concomitant anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (P < .001). Patients undergoing isolated meniscal repairs (without concomitant ACL reconstruction) were at a decreased risk if they were older (P < .001), had a lateral meniscal injury (P = .002), or were operated on by a surgeon with a higher annual meniscal repair volume (>24 cases/year; P < .001).


A meniscectomy after meniscal repair is performed infrequently, supporting the notion that repairing a meniscus is a safe and effective procedure in the long term. The risk for undergoing subsequent meniscectomies is decreased in patients undergoing a concomitant ACL reconstruction, in cases of isolated meniscal repairs for patients of older age, and in patients undergoing meniscal repair by surgeons with a high case volume.


knee; knee arthroscopic surgery; meniscal repair; meniscectomy; meniscus

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