Are Outcomes After Meniscal Repair Age Dependent? A Systematic Review

Arthroscopy. 2018 Mar;34(3):979-987. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2017.08.287. Epub 2017 Dec 19.


Purpose: To determine if the failure rate and functional outcome after arthroscopic meniscus suture repair are age dependent.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted using a computerized search of the electronic databases MEDLINE and ScienceDirect in adherence with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Extracted data from each included study were recorded on a standardized form. Studies were included if they (1) were English-language studies in peer-reviewed journals, (2) used a distinct age cut-off to evaluate outcome of meniscal surgery for those above and below the specified cut-off, and (3) used meniscal repairs using suture based technique with inside-out, outside-in, or all-inside techniques. Review papers, case reports, technique papers, non-English language publications, abstracts, and data on meniscal repairs using meniscal screws, arrows, or darts were excluded.

Results: 15 of 305 identified articles met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. There were 1,141 menisci treated in 1,063 patients. Seven and 8 studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria for analysis for the age thresholds of 25 years and 30 years, respectively, demonstrating no difference in failure rates relative to age threshold. Four of 6 studies that met analysis criteria found no difference in failure rates above or below an age threshold of 35 years. No significant difference in failure in patients younger than 40 than patients older than 40 was found for 4 of the 5 studies in that arm of the review.

Conclusions: Analysis of the composite data in this systematic review reveals that no significant difference exists when evaluating meniscal repair failure rate as a function of age above or below the given age thresholds.

Level of evidence: Level IV, systematic review of level III and IV studies.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome