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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1982 Jul;(167):29-33.

Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. Technique and long-term results.


The functional results in 125 patients treated by arthroscopic meniscectomy were reviewed two to four years after operation. Arthrotomy was necessary to complete the procedure in 15 cases and done at the same session. The other 110 cases were evaluated in a follow-up questionnaire study, which included a knee function rating system. The postoperative rehabilitation period was very short, with the majority of patients returning to work within two weeks. Most athletic patients returned to their preinjury level within four weeks. The best functional results were obtained in cases with an isolated meniscal lesion. The presence of osteoarthritis or chondromalacia had a negative effect on the results, although 50% of affected patients who were rated fair or poor stated that their knee function was improved after the procedure. Of the patients, 20% had associated instability of the knee primarily owing to cruciate insufficiency. These patients often noted no improvement after treatment of the meniscal lesion alone. Of these patients, 28% were eventually treated by open knee surgery to correct the instability. The results of arthroscopic meniscectomy are best in knees with isolated meniscal tears, but subjectively improved knee function can also be expected in some patients who have degenerative joint disease. In unstable knees, endoscopic meniscectomy is often not the treatment of choice, except in selected cases where a stabilizing operation is contraindicated.

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