Purpose: Meniscal rasping without suturing has been experimentally shown to stimulate vascular induction in tears in the avascular zone of menisci, resulting in meniscal healing. The goals of this study were to arthroscopically assess the results of meniscal rasping and analyze the factors affecting meniscal healing.
Type of study: Retrospective cohort study.
Methods: Forty-eight torn menisci in 47 patients (age range, 14-47 years; average, 24 years) treated arthroscopically with the meniscal rasping technique were evaluated by second-look arthroscopy. The interval between the injury and the time of surgery ranged from 3 weeks to 13 years. There were 35 lateral and 13 medial meniscal tears associated with 44 anterior cruciate ligament injuries; 28 of the menisci had a full-thickness longitudinal tear and the other 20 had a partial-thickness tear. The length of the tears ranged from 10 to 33 mm (mean, 14.4 mm). The distance from the capsule to the tear ranged from 1 to 9 mm (mean, 5.0 mm).
Results: Thirty-four menisci (71%) healed completely (without a marked visible unhealed area), 10 (21%) healed incompletely, and 4 (8%) showed no evidence of healing. There were no relationships between outcome and age, gender, injured side, or time from injury and rasping. Both the distance from the capsule to the tear and the length of the tear were longer in the unhealed menisci. Stable tears had a high healing rate after meniscal rasping.
Conclusions: Meniscal rasping without suturing is an easy procedure to perform and seems to be a reliable way to repair longitudinal tears in the avascular region of the meniscus, although the healing potential of the procedure is affected by the distance from the capsule to the tear site and the length and the stability of the tear.