Long-term outcome of meniscectomy: symptoms, function, and performance tests in patients with or without radiographic osteoarthritis compared to matched controls

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2001 May;9(4):316-24. doi: 10.1053/joca.2000.0391.


Objective: To describe the long-term influence of meniscectomy on pain, functional limitations, and muscular performance. To assess the effects of radiographic osteoarthritis (OA), gender and age on these outcomes in patients with meniscectomy.

Design: 159 subjects (35 women), mean age 53 years, were examined 19 (17-22) years after open meniscectomy. Self-reported symptoms and function were assessed, performance tests were carried out and radiographs were taken. Sixty-eight age- and gender-matched controls were examined likewise. The data was analysed in two steps. First, subjects with meniscectomy were compared to the controls, and subgroup analyses were carried out with regard to radiographic OA, gender and age. Second, similar comparisons were carried out within the meniscectomized group.

Results: Meniscectomized subjects reported significantly (P< 0.001) more symptoms and functional limitations than did controls. This was also true when operated subjects without OA were compared to controls without OA. Within the meniscectomized group, severe radiographic OA (joint space narrowing grade 2 or more) and female gender, but not older age, was associated with more symptoms and functional limitations. Meniscectomy was associated with worse muscular performance. Female gender and older age were associated with worse muscular performance in the study group.

Conclusions: Meniscectomy is associated with long-term symptoms and functional limitations, especially in women. Patients who had developed severe radiographic OA experienced more symptoms and functional limitations. Age did not influence self-reported outcomes, however older age was associated with worse muscular performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy / standards
  • Arthroscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / etiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome