Isolated arthroscopic meniscal repair: a long-term outcome study (more than 10 years)

Am J Sports Med. 1999 Jan-Feb;27(1):44-9. doi: 10.1177/03635465990270011501.


A single surgeon's consecutive series of 50 arthroscopically repaired meniscal tears in 48 patients was retrospectively reviewed. None of these patients had concomitant ligament damage to the knee. The average follow-up period was 10 years, 9 months. Criteria for clinical success included 1) history of pain of grade 1 or less and absence of locking, catching, or giving way; 2) a physical examination demonstrating no significant effusion and a painless and negative jump sign; and 3) no subsequent surgical procedures on the repaired meniscus. Patient satisfaction was quite high, although clinical confirmation was possible in only 38 knees, indicating a clinical success rate of 76%. Bilateral standing radiographs were obtained on these 38 operated knees and were evaluated using Fairbank's classification. Evaluation of the radiographs revealed that 8% of the operated knees had minimal joint changes, as compared with 3% in the contralateral, nonoperated knee. This study demonstrates that arthroscopic meniscal repair in knees with isolated meniscal tears has the potential for a long-term successful clinical and radiographic outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability
  • Knee Injuries / pathology
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / standards*
  • Pain
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries*
  • Treatment Outcome