Results of Knee Meniscectomy 10 Years after the FactThe doctors in this study are the first to take a long look back on knee surgery for meniscus tears. The meniscus is one type of cartilage inside the knee joint. It's located on both sides of the joint and divided into two parts: medial and lateral. The medial meniscus (MM) is on the inside edge of the knee. The lateral meniscus (LM) is on the outside edge.
This study compares the results of MM removal to LM removal. Meniscus removal is called meniscectomy. In all cases, only part of the meniscus was removed. The patients were followed for at least 10 years. X- rays were used to look at the joint as a means of measuring results. The researchers were also looking for ways to tell which patients would have the best outcome.
The researchers found that patients having a lateral meniscectomy had a second operation on the same meniscus twice as often as patients with medial meniscus problems. They also report that the joint space narrows quite a bit wherever the meniscus is removed. The authors didn't find any factors in the LM group to predict the result. On the other hand, there were many predictors in the MM group. The three most important were age at the time of surgery, type of tear, and whether or not the cartilage was damaged.
Taking a look back in the cases of meniscectomy will help guide future treatment. Removing the cartilage puts the joint at risk for faster degeneration. The meniscus plays an important role in knee motion. These French researchers believe a 10-year follow-up study is too short. Watching what happens over time after a partial meniscectomy requires longer study.
F. Chatain, MD, et al. A Comparative Study of Medial Versus Lateral Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy on Stable Knees: 10-Year Minimum Follow-up. In Arthroscopy. October 2003. Vol. 19. No. 8. Pp. 842-849.
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