The meniscus has an important role in stabilizing the knee joint and protecting the articular cartilage from shear forces. Meniscus tears are common injuries and can disrupt these protective properties, leading to an increased risk of articular cartilage damage and eventual osteoarthritis. Certain tear patterns are often treated with arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, which can effectively relieve symptoms. However, removal of meniscal tissue can also diminish the ability of the meniscus to dissipate hoop stresses, resulting in altered biomechanics of the knee joint including increased contact pressures. This makes meniscal repair an important treatment consideration whenever possible. Understanding the incidence and mechanism of osteoarthritis development after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy as it relates to different tear morphologies and other treatment alternatives (ie, meniscus repair) is important to appropriately treat meniscus tears.
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