Results of open meniscus repair. Long-term follow-up study with a matched uninjured control group

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2000 May;82(4):494-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620x.82b4.9942.


We have followed for 13 years a consecutive series of 31 patients who had open repair of a torn meniscus. They were between 13 and 43 years of age at the time of operation and all had intact stabilising ligaments. Comparison was made with a matched group of normal subjects of similar age and level of activity. The total rate of failure after meniscal repair was 29%; three of the repaired menisci did not heal and six reruptured during the follow-up period. At follow-up 80% of the patients had normal knee function for daily activities. Radiological changes were found in seven. Two had reduction of the joint space (Ahlbäck grade 1), one with successful and one with failed repair. In the control group of uninjured subjects one knee showed Fairbank changes but none had changes according to Ahlbäck. The incidence of radiological changes did not differ between the group with meniscal repair and the control group but knee function was reduced after meniscal repair (p < 0.001). We conclude that the long-term results of meniscal repair in stable knees are good with nearly normal function and a low incidence of low-grade radiological changes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / diagnostic imaging
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery*
  • Physical Examination
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recurrence
  • Rupture
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Failure