Late degenerative changes are known to follow meniscectomy, but there is little agreement on their incidence or on which patients are most at risk. A total of 210 patients have been reviewed 10 to 22 years after meniscectomy, and long leg radiographs taken of both knees. Radiological degeneration was seen in 18%, while 7% had significant symptoms and signs. Statistical analysis showed increased changes in older patients, in those with abnormal leg alignment, and in those who had undergone lateral as against medial meniscectomy. Our findings emphasise the important mechanical function of the meniscus and support the current cautious approach to meniscectomy, especially for patients in high risk groups. They also indicate the value of early high tibial osteotomy for symptomatic varus deformity after medial meniscectomy.