Arthroscopic repair of meniscal tears that extend into the avascular zone. A review of 198 single and complex tears

Am J Sports Med. Jan-Feb 1998;26(1):87-95. doi: 10.1177/03635465980260013301.


We assessed the results of 198 meniscal tears that had a major segment in the central avascular region repaired with an arthroscopically assisted inside-out technique. There were 177 patients whose mean age was 28 years. Eighty-two percent were injured during sports, and 71% also required anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The menisci were evaluated by clinical examination (180 repairs) a mean of 42 months postoperatively, by follow-up arthroscopic evaluation (91 repairs) a mean of 18 months postoperatively, or both. At followup, 159 (80%) of the 198 tears were asymptomatic for tibiofemoral joint symptoms, and 39 (20%) required repeat arthroscopic surgery for these symptoms. Of the 91 repairs evaluated arthroscopically, 23 (25%) were classified as healed, 35 (38%) as partially healed, and 33 (36%) as failed. We recommend repair of meniscal tears that extend into the avascular region for select patients, including those in their 20s and 30s and highly competitive athletes. This study's reoperation rate of 20% should not be interpreted as the rate of meniscal healing, but as the incidence of tibiofemoral joint symptoms. Even though this is a higher rate than that reported for the repair of peripheral meniscal tears, we believe the benefits of a potentially functional meniscus outweigh the risks of reoperation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Child
  • Endoscopy* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rupture
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries*
  • Wound Healing