The meniscus plays an important role in the biomechanics and tribology of the knee joint. Damage to or disease of the meniscus is now recognized to predispose to the development of osteoarthritis. Treatment of meniscal injury through arthroscopic surgery has become one of the most common orthopedic surgical procedures, and in the United States this can represent 10 to 20% of procedures related to the knee. The meniscus has a limited healing capacity constrained to the vascularized periphery and therefore, surgical repair of the avascular regions is not always feasible. Replacement and repair of the meniscus to treat injuries is being investigated using tissue engineering strategies. Promising as these approaches may be, there are, however, major barriers to overcome before translation to the clinic.
Keywords: meniscus; regenerative medicine; scaffolds; tissue engineering.
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