Failure Rates of Repaired Bucket-Handle Tears of the Medial Meniscus Concomitant With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Cohort Study of 253 Patients From the SANTI Study Group With a Mean Follow-up of 94 Months

Am J Sports Med. 2023 Mar;51(3):585-595. doi: 10.1177/03635465221148497. Epub 2023 Feb 3.


Background: Failure rates of repaired bucket-handle medial meniscal tears (BHMMTs) concomitant with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) are as high as 20%. The outcomes of posteromedial portal suture hook repair have not been compared with all-inside repair techniques for this subtype of meniscal lesion.

Purpose/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes and failure rates of patients who underwent BHMMT repair concomitant with ACLR using an all-inside technique, suture hook + all-inside technique, or suture hook + outside-in technique. It was hypothesized that no significant differences in failure rates would be found between the groups.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on patients diagnosed with a BHMMT who underwent meniscal repair during primary ACLR and had a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Patients were grouped based on the meniscal repair technique used: all-inside repair, suture hook + all-inside repair, or suture hook + outside-in repair. At the end of the study period, secondary medial meniscectomy rates were determined.

Results: The study population comprised 253 patients who underwent repair of a BHMMT with concomitant ACLR with a mean follow-up of 94.0 ± 47.6 months. A total of 114 patients (45.1%) underwent all-inside repair, 61 patients (24.1%) underwent suture hook + all-inside repair, and 78 patients (30.8%) underwent suture hook + outside-in repair. Overall, there were 36 failures. The failure rates were 20.2%, 14.8%, and 5.1%, respectively (P = .0135). All-inside repairs were >4 times more likely to fail than suture hook + outside-in repairs (hazard ratio [HR], 4.103; 95% CI, 1.369-12.296; P = .0117). Failure was also 3 times higher (HR, 2.943; 95% CI, 1.224-7.075; P = .0159) for patients <30 years of age compared with those aged ≥30 years. An additional anterolateral ligament reconstruction (ALLR) was also found to reduce the failure rate of repaired BHMMTs concomitant with ACLR.

Conclusion: Combined suture hook + outside-in repair of BHMMTs resulted in significantly fewer failures than all other techniques. Furthermore, age <30 years and no additional ALLR were associated with higher failure rates.

Keywords: bucket-handle tear; medial meniscus; meniscal repair; outside-in technique.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries* / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction* / methods
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries* / surgery