Arthroscopic meniscectomy in patients over the age of 40

Am J Sports Med. 1992 Jul-Aug;20(4):422-8; discussion 428-9. doi: 10.1177/036354659202000410.


One hundred eighteen patients, aged 40 or older, underwent partial meniscectomy and limited debridement of coexisting grade III or grade IV degenerative articular cartilage lesions. No curettage, abrasion arthroplasty, or subchondral drilling was performed. The average age of the patients was 57 years (range, 40 to 78). The mean followup was 3.3 years (range, 1 to 7). Sixty-three similar patients who also underwent partial meniscectomy but did not have the finding of significant coexisting articular surface erosion were studied for comparison. Of the 118 patients in the group with articular lesions (78 men and 40 women), 71 (60%) rated their improvement as significant, 22 (19%) as moderate, and 15 (13%) as mild; 10 (8%) noted no improvement. Although 98 (83%) were generally satisfied with their result, only 57 (48%) reported satisfaction for sports. However, 89 (75%) had resumed and continued recreational athletic activities. Results tended to be worse in women, in patients older than 60, in those with moderate or severe tibiofemoral radiographic changes, those who had a grade IV articular lesion, and those with longer followup time. Although results were poorer in patients with coexisting grade III or grade IV degenerative arthritis, arthroscopic partial meniscectomy and limited debridement was an acceptably effective procedure in patients over the age of 40.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy
  • Cartilage, Articular / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries