Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the success rate of meniscal repair achieved in our sports medicine practice, particularly with interest in characterizing the outcomes observed with the newer all-inside repair devices.
Type of study: Retrospective chart review with telephone follow-up.
Methods: 157 patients that had undergone a meniscal repair procedure between 1996 and 2001 were identified. Twenty-four of these patients were lost to follow-up. Thus, the study group consisted of 133 patients providing a follow-up rate of 85%. All patients included had a minimum of two years of follow up. Failure was defined as the need for meniscectomy in the area of the meniscus that was initially repaired. The time interval from injury to surgery was divided into less than six weeks (acute) and greater than six weeks (chronic). The etiology of the meniscal tear was broken down into three categories; sports related trauma, non-sports trauma, and atraumatic. The repair techniques used in these patients included outside-in sutures, inside-out sutures, darts, arrows, meniscal screws, T-fix, FasT-fix, and the RapidLoc.
Results: The failure rate was 36%. No association was found between failure and the length of preoperative symptoms, rim width, etiology, concomitant meniscectomy, chondroplasty or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. There was a higher rate of failure of tears in the medial versus lateral meniscus (20.3% vs. 44.8%). No statistical comparisons could be made between devices due to small sample sizes.
Conclusions: The all-inside meniscal repair devices have simplified the meniscal repair procedure. This may have lead to a broadening of the indications for repair
Clinical relevance: The newer generation meniscal repair devices, while simplifying the procedure, do not appear to lead to an increased clinical success rate.