Second-Look Arthroscopic Evaluation of Healing Rates After Arthroscopic Repair of Meniscal Tears: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Orthop J Sports Med. 2021 Oct 22;9(10):23259671211038289. doi: 10.1177/23259671211038289. eCollection 2021 Oct.

Abstract

Background: Evaluation of meniscal healing status after repair is important, as it allows the surgeon to inform patients whether they can increase their activities or return to sports.

Purpose: To identify the healing rates after arthroscopic repair of meniscal tears via second-look arthroscopic evaluation.

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

Methods: Searches of PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and the Cochrane databases were conducted to identify relevant studies published before June 1, 2020. Studies were eligible for this meta-analysis if they provided data regarding healing status of the meniscus at second-look arthroscopy. Random-effects meta-analyses were generated to provide pooled meniscal healing estimates. We further performed subgroup analysis to investigate the healing rates of the meniscus under different situations.

Results: A total of 41 studies with 1908 individuals were included in the study. The pooled analysis showed the complete healing rate was 74% (95% confidence interval [CI], 67%-80%), the partial healing rate was 10% (95% CI, 6%-16%), and the failure rate was 12% (95% CI, 10%-15%) for arthroscopic repair of meniscal tears via second-look arthroscopic evaluation. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that no individual study affected the overall healing rate by >1%. Subgroup analysis found higher meniscal healing rates in patients with the following characteristics: age <40 years, male, body mass index <26, red-red tear location, tear in posterior horn, vertical tear, outside-in technique, repair concomitant with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, weight-restricted rehabilitation, and time interval from meniscal repair to second-look arthroscopy >12 months.

Conclusion: In this systematic review, the complete healing rate was 74%, the partial healing rate was 10%, and the failure rate was 12% for arthroscopic repair of meniscal tears via second-look arthroscopic evaluation.

Keywords: healing rates; meniscal repair; meniscus; second-look arthroscopy.

Publication types

  • Review