Purpose: the purpose of this study was to analyse the clinical and radiological results of meniscal repairs and identify factors that correlate with the success of this procedure.
Methods: a retrospective review of 119 meniscal repairs was completed. The average follow-up was 70 months. Successful meniscal repairs were observed critically in terms of radiographic changes and clinical outcomes and compared with failed meniscal repairs.
Results: the overall success rate of meniscal repairs was 74%. Meniscal repairs that were performed within 6 weeks of injury had better results (83%) than late repairs (52%). The best results were obtained with the inside-out technique using #0 PDS suture (80%) compared to all-inside Biofix arrows (70%) and combined repairs (63%). Patients with associated ACL injury had a better chance of a successful outcome, but this was only significant when the ACL was reconstructed at the time of repair (P < 0.05). Those patients who had failed meniscal repair had increased radiographic osteoarthritic changes (81%) on long-term follow-up compared to patients with successful repair (14%).
Conclusion: this retrospective study shows the clinical and radiological importance of meniscal repair. Successful results in this study were associated with younger age and earlier repair using inside-out technique. Furthermore, increased success was seen in meniscal repairs performed in association with ACL reconstruction.