Over the past 2 decades there has been a profound shift in our perception of the role of the meniscus in the knee joint. Orthopaedic opinion now favors salvaging and restoring the damaged meniscus where possible. Basic science is characterizing its form (anatomy) and functionality (biological and biomechanical) in an attempt to understand the effect of meniscal injury and repair on the knee joint as a whole. The meniscus is a complex tissue and has warranted extensive basic science, translational, and clinical research to identify techniques to augment healing and even replace the meniscus. The application of quantitative magnetic resonance image sequencing to the meniscus and articular cartilage of the affected compartment promises to add a quantifiable outcome measure to the body of clinical evidence that supports restoration of the meniscus. This article discusses the recent advances and outcomes in the pursuit of meniscal restoration with particular focus on the use of augmentation strategies in meniscal repair, meniscal imaging, and translational strategies.
Keywords: knee, meniscus; meniscal allograft transplantation; meniscal imaging; meniscal repair; meniscal scaffold; tissue engineering.