Clinical and Radiological Outcomes of Meniscal Repair Versus Partial Meniscectomy for Medial Meniscus Root Tears: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Orthop J Sports Med. 2020 Nov 11;8(11):2325967120962078. doi: 10.1177/2325967120962078. eCollection 2020 Nov.


Background: Given the superiority of meniscal repair over partial meniscectomy according to biomechanical data, the clinical outcomes of meniscal repair are likely to be better than those of partial meniscectomy for a medial meniscus root tear (MMRT).

Purpose/hypothesis: This review was designed to compare the clinical and radiological results between meniscal repair and partial meniscectomy for MMRTs. It was hypothesized that meniscal repair would result in better clinical and radiological results compared with partial meniscectomy.

Study design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: Studies were included in the review if they (1) included patients with MMRTs who underwent primary arthroscopic meniscal repair or partial meniscectomy and (2) analyzed validated patient-reported outcomes and/or radiological evaluations. Summary odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs were calculated to compare partial meniscectomy with meniscal repair for each outcome.

Results: A total of 13 studies were included. The mean duration of follow-up was 33.5 and 47.2 months in the meniscal repair group and partial meniscectomy group, respectively. The change in the Lysholm score from preoperatively to postoperatively was statistically significantly in favor of meniscal repair (OR, 2.20 [95% CI, 1.55-3.12]), while no difference was found with respect to the change in the Tegner score between the 2 surgical approaches (OR, 1.21 [95% CI, 0.65-2.24]). The prevalence of postoperative severe knee osteoarthritis (OR, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.17-0.54]) as well as that of reoperations (OR, 0.05 [95% CI, 0.01-0.19]) were significantly in favor of meniscal repair.

Conclusion: Better outcomes were seen after meniscal repair compared with partial meniscectomy for MMRTs, with greater improvements in Lysholm scores, and lower rates of progression to knee osteoarthritis, and lower reoperation rate.

Keywords: medial meniscus; partial meniscectomy; repair; root tear.

Publication types

  • Review