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Arthroscopy. 1996 Dec;12(6):680-6.

Accelerated rehabilitation after arthroscopic meniscal repair: a clinical and magnetic resonance imaging evaluation.

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I Clinica Ortopedica, Università La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Twenty-two patients who underwent meniscal repair using the outside-in technique combined with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction were submitted to an accelerated rehabilitation protocol that included immediate full range of motion and weightbearing. The patients were reviewed postoperatively by means of clinical assessment and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after an average of 28 months. Clinical evaluation was performed according to the International Knee Documentation Committee form, and sagittal knee laxity was measured with a KT-2000 arthrometer (MedMetric Corp, San Diego, CA). The MRI scans were obtained using a 0.2-T high-resolution MRI unit dedicated to the study of limbs, and the meniscal signal was graded according to a modified Crues classification. Overall, 77.3% of patients reported clinically good results. Loss of extension of < 5 degrees was detected in only 2 patients (9.1%). Three out of 22 patients showed clinical signs of meniscal retear. One of these patients had a second operation for a bucket-handle tear. The presence of a full-thickness rim at MRI evaluation, present in 10 patients (45.5%), did not correlate with the presence of clinical symptoms of retear. Instead, the 3 symptomatic patients presented a complete rim with a gap > 1 mm between the meniscal wall and the fragment of the posterior horn. This finding is believed to be a more reliable indicator for retear following meniscal repair. The low failure rate in this series suggests that an aggressive rehabilitation regimen may be prescribed without deleterious effects in subjects undergoing ACL reconstruction and concomitant meniscus repair.

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