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J Pediatr Orthop B. 2016 Jul;25(4):343-8. doi: 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000291.

Meniscus transplantation in skeletally immature patients.

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aDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's HospitalbHarvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USAcAlpha Clinic Zurich, Kraftstrasse, Zurich, Switzerland.


Meniscal pathology in skeletally immature patients includes meniscal tears and discoid lateral meniscus. Total or subtotal meniscectomy may occur in patients with discoid lateral meniscus or severe meniscal tears. Meniscal transplantation may be an option in skeletally immature patients status after total or subtotal meniscectomy with knee symptoms or dysfunction. This study focuses on the surgical technique and short-term outcomes of meniscus transplantation in skeletally immature patients. We reviewed our clinical database for skeletally immature patients who had undergone meniscus transplantation with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. Patients were contacted, invited for a physical exam, and asked to complete a Pedi-IKDC, Lysholm, and Tegner outcomes questionnaire. The study protocol was approved by the responsible institutional review board. Three patients (two females/one male) were eligible for the study, each of whom responded to our invitation indicating availability for physical exam and questionnaire. Two patients had undergone subtotal discoid meniscus resection, leading to early lateral compartment degeneration. One patient developed advanced degeneration after a delay in treatment for a medial bucket-handle tear associated with anterior cruciate ligament rupture. The mean age of the patients at the time of surgery was 12.6±2.3 years. At a mean follow-up of 31±20 months, the mean Pedi-IKDC score was 68.3±4, the mean Lysholm was 55.7±22.3, and the median Tegner was 7 points. There were no indications of growth deformity during the regular postoperative radiological assessments. One patient required subsequent lysis of adhesions along the lateral mini arthrotomy and mobilization under anesthesia. The other two patients were able to return to sports at the same level as before meniscus transplantation and were able to do so within 9 months postoperatively. Over-resection of discoid menisci as well as untreated meniscus injury, the latter typically in conjunction with ligamentous instability, can lead to advanced cartilage degeneration and recalcitrant complaints necessitating surgical treatment before skeletal maturity. We were able to show that meniscus transplantation in skeletally immature patients leads to acceptable clinical outcomes without growth deviation.



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