Long-Term Results of Meniscal RepairA torn meniscus in the knee can occur alone or along with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Patients with just a meniscal tear have better long-term results than patients with both cartilage and ligament tears.
These are the results of a long-term study of 28 knees over an eight- to 14-year period. Results were measured on the basis of symptoms, function, and X-ray or MRI findings.
Everyone in the meniscus-only group had an excellent rating on follow-up. Four of the 20 patients with the added ACL tear showed good results. Both groups had good function. The big difference was in arthritic changes. The meniscus-only group had no arthritic changes. More than half of the ACL group had arthritic changes.
MRI images showed that the more stable ACL repairs had less severe arthritis. The authors conclude that degenerative changes after reconstructive surgery for meniscal tears can be seen on MRIs. The best way to protect the torn meniscus after repair is to make sure the ACL is also stable.
Masashi Kimura, PhD, et al. Eight- to 14-Year Follow-up of Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. April 2004. Vol. 421. Pp. 175-180.
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