Meniscal degeneration is a common finding even in young patients' knees, and it is regarded as a predictor for the onset of early osteoarthritis (OA). When symptomatic, it represents a challenge since arthroscopic surgery provides unpredictable results: recent evidence has shown that partial meniscectomy is not better than conservative management up to 2 years of follow-up, and the removal of meniscal tissue may accelerate OA progression toward OA. Intra-articular injection of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid may help in providing temporary symptomatic relief, but no influence should be expected on the quality of the meniscal tissue. Biologic agents have been adopted to treat a variety of degenerative musculoskeletal pathologies, and the use of platelet-derived growth factors (GFs) has become routine. Preclinical studies have documented that platelet-derived GFs may play a beneficial role in stimulating meniscal repair and regeneration by triggering anabolic pathways and stimulating local mesenchymal stem cells from synovium. Furthermore, also mechanical stimulation (e.g., arthroscopic trephination or percutaneous needling) in the red-red or red-white zone may further promote tissue healing. The purpose of the present brief report is to describe the clinical outcomes at 18 months' follow-up in a cohort of patients affected by symptomatic medial meniscus degeneration and treated by percutaneous needling plus intra- and perimeniscal injection of autologous conditioned plasma (ACP). The procedure was shown to be safe and provided significant pain reduction and improvement in subjective scores. This treatment option deserves further investigation in a comparative setting, to establish whether it could offer advantage over isolated intra-articular injections.
Keywords: PRP; intrameniscal injection; meniscus degeneration.