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Comparative Study
, 16 (1), 1-6

Peripheral Tears of the Meniscus. The Effect of Open Versus Arthroscopic Repair on Intraarticular Contact Stresses in the Human Knee

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Comparative Study

Peripheral Tears of the Meniscus. The Effect of Open Versus Arthroscopic Repair on Intraarticular Contact Stresses in the Human Knee

M E Baratz et al. Am J Sports Med.

Abstract

The mechanical properties of the repaired meniscus may affect its ability to heal and to protect the articular surface against degenerative changes. We compared the immediate biomechanical consequences of open versus arthroscopic repair in the human cadaver knee. Additionally, having measured postoperative stresses at various degrees of knee flexion, we have addressed the effect of tethering of the meniscus, a question relevant to both meniscus repair and replacement. Peak stresses were measured by the Pressensor system. Fresh human cadaver knees were subjected to loading in an Instron unit, on an unconstrained base. Instantaneous loads were applied with the knee in 0 degree, 30 degrees, or 60 degrees of flexion, and stress distributions were measured after repair of a 2 cm peripheral tear, by an open or arthroscopic approach. The results of loading experiments on five knees revealed no statistically significant differences between stresses after the two repairs. Similarly, there was no statistically significant difference between the normal and repaired menisci. In our model, this suggests that the immediate biomechanical consequences of open and arthroscopic repair are equivalent and that the "tethered" meniscus distributes loads as well as the normal meniscus.

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