Late changes in bone mineral density of the proximal tibia following total or partial medial meniscectomy. A randomized study

J Orthop Res. 1996 Jan;14(1):16-21. doi: 10.1002/jor.1100140105.


The adaptive bone remodeling in the proximal tibia following medial meniscectomy was measured quantitatively by dual photon absorptiometry. Thirty-three patients who had undergone a meniscectomy (randomized to either total [n=19] or partial [n=14] meniscectomy) performed by open joint surgery approximately 12 years earlier were included in the study. Bone mineral density was measured in the previously injured legs and in the healthy contralateral legs in areas located medially and laterally in the cortical bone of the subchondral plates and below in the trabecular bone of the medial and lateral tibial condyles. The distribution of bone mineral within the proximal tibia showed a characteristic and significant pattern. In the trabecular bone of the healthy contralateral knees, bone mineral density was 15% higher in the medial tibial condyles compared with the values laterally; a total or partial meniscectomy increased this difference to 25%. With regard to the cortical bone of the subchondral plates, the bone mineral density in the healthy knees was 24.8-29.4% higher medially than laterally, whereas after total and partial meniscectomy the differences were, respectively, 37.7 and 41.4%. No significant differences in the distribution of bone mineral density, at either cortical or trabecular measuring sites, were found between totally and partially meniscectomized knees.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Density*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedics / methods
  • Postoperative Period
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / physiopathology*
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery