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Arthroscopy. 1998 Mar;14(2):136-42.

Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy: a 12-year follow-up and two-step evaluation of the long-term course.

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Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland.


The long-term results after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy of 119 patients with a mean follow-up of 12 years are presented in this study. The same series of patients had an earlier follow-up 4 years postoperatively. Thus, an evaluation of the actual long-term course and not only a single result after partial meniscectomy is presented. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is shown to be the definitive means of therapy for meniscal lesion of the knee joint; 91.7% of patients had an excellent or good result 4 years after surgery, and 78.1% rated excellent or good 12 years after surgery. Full recovery regarding ability to work and sports activity level was achieved in a very high percentage of patients. Early results were mostly representative and did not change significantly during the long-term course for the isolated meniscal lesion. The factor with the highest impact on long-term results was damage to the articular cartilage, which did not influence knee function for several years after surgery but became increasingly symptomatic over time after 5 years and more. Only 62% of patients with additional cartilage damage rated excellent and good 12 years after surgery, in contrast with 94.8% good and excellent results in patients with isolated meniscal tears. Similar observations were made for the untreated rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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