Background: Meniscal repair offers the potential to avoid the long-term articular cartilage deterioration that has been shown to result after meniscectomy. Failure of the meniscal repair can occur several years postoperatively. Limited evidence on the long-term outcomes of meniscal repair exists.
Methods: We performed a systematic review of studies reporting the outcomes of meniscal repair at a minimum of five years postoperatively. Pooling of data and meta-analysis with a random-effects model were performed to evaluate the results.
Results: Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The pooled rate of meniscal repair failure (reoperation or clinical failure) was 23.1% (131 of 566). The pooled rate of failure varied from 20.2% to 24.3% depending on the status of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the meniscus repaired, and the technique utilized. The rate of failure was similar for the medial and the lateral meniscus as well as for patients with an intact and a reconstructed ACL.
Conclusions: A systematic review of the outcomes of meniscal repair at greater than five years postoperatively demonstrated very similar rates of meniscal failure (22.3% to 24.3%) for all techniques investigated. The outcomes of meniscal repair at greater than five years postoperatively have not yet been reported for modern all-inside repair devices.