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Arthroscopy. 1997 Dec;13(6):673-9.

Fifteen-year follow-up of arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84132, USA.


From an original pool of 283 patients, 146 patients who had undergone arthroscopic partial meniscectomy an average of 14.7 years before were followed-up. Lysholm score, Tegner activity level, satisfaction index on a scale of 1 to 10, and standing anteroposterior and flexion weight-bearing radiographs of both knees, were obtained. A physical examination was performed on each knee emphasizing motion, swelling, and ligament evaluation. Radiographs were graded for degenerative changes for each knee. Each knee joint space was also measured in millimeters and compared, operative knee with unoperated knee. The unoperated knee had no injuries or surgeries and was used as a control. Patients were 83% male and 17% female; 78% had undergone medial meniscectomies, 19% lateral, and 3% both. There were 88% good and excellent results in anterior cruciate ligament-stable knees. The radiographic grade side-to-side difference showed the operative knee to be only a 0.23 grade worse than the nonoperative knee. Age at the time of meniscectomy was not found to be a factor. Male patients had better radiographic results than female patients, but not better functional scores. Medial meniscus and lateral meniscus results were not significantly different. Knees with a femoral-tibial anatomic alignment of > 0 degree valgus compared with < or = 0 degree and that had undergone medial meniscectomy had significantly better radiographic results. Patients with anterior cruciate ligament tears and meniscectomy did significantly poorer than stable knees with meniscectomy in regards to radiographic grade change, Lysholm, satisfaction index, Tegner level, and medial joint space narrowing.

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