Failure rates and clinical outcomes of synthetic meniscal implants following partial meniscectomy: a systematic review

Knee Surg Relat Res. 2022 Jun 13;34(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s43019-022-00155-1.


Background: Meniscal injury is one of the most common indications for knee surgery. The advent of meniscal repair techniques has facilitated meniscal preservation in suitable cases. Meniscal substitution with scaffolds may be advantageous following partial meniscal resection. There are three main scaffolds in current clinical use; Collagen Meniscal Implant (CMI Stryker Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI, USA), Actifit (Actifit, Orteq Ltd, London, UK) and NUsurface (Active Implants, LLC). The purpose of this systematic review was to compare clinical outcomes and failure rates of patients who have had implantation with these meniscal scaffolds.

Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for studies that included patients who had surgical implantation with Actifit or CMI. Eligibility criteria included papers that described both clinical outcomes and failure rates of these implants, a mean follow up of 5 years and studies published in English. A Google search was also performed to identify any grey literature.

Results: Five Level IV studies were found for Actifit. One Level II, one Level III and four Level IV studies were found for the CMI implant. One Level II study was identified for the NUsurface scaffold with a follow-up 12 months and was included for completeness. Overall, 262 patients were treated with Actifit, 109 with CMI and 65 with NUsurface. Failure rates for Actifit were 18% (range 6.3-31.8%) with a mean follow up of 66.8 months, and for CMI 6.5% (range 0-11.8%) with a mean follow up of 97.1 months. The NUsurface failure rate was 16.9% at 12 months. Clinical outcomes such as VAS, Tegner and Lysholm scores improved significantly post-operatively. However, there was a high volume of concurrent procedures, such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions and high tibial osteotomies in each study group; 118 (45%) for Actifit and 53 (45%) for CMI.

Conclusion: The evidence for meniscal scaffold use is insufficient to suggest that they could potentially improve clinical outcomes in patients post-meniscal resection. This is largely due to the high proportion of concurrent procedures performed at index procedure for both CMI and Actifit. On the basis of current evidence, the use of meniscal scaffolds as a sole treatment for partial meniscal defects cannot be recommended, owing to the relatively high failure rate and paucity of clinical data.

Keywords: Arthroplasty; Implant; Knee; Meniscus; Osteoarthritis; Scaffold.

Publication types

  • Review