BACKGROUND - Meniscal repair is performed in an attempt to prevent posttraumatic arthritis resulting from meniscal dysfunction after meniscal tears. The socioeconomic implications of premature arthritis are significant in the young patient population. Investigations and techniques focusing on meniscus preservation and healing are now at the forefront of orthopaedic sports medicine.
HYPOTHESIS - Concomitant meniscal repair with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is a durable and successful procedure at 2-year follow-up.
STUDY DESIGN - Case series; Level of evidence, 4.
METHODS - All unilateral primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions entered in 2002 in a cohort who had meniscal repair at the time of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction were evaluated. Validated patient-oriented outcome instruments were completed preoperatively and then again at the 2-year postoperative time point. Reoperation after the index procedure was also documented and confirmed by operative reports.
RESULTS - A total of 437 unilateral primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions were performed with 82 concomitant meniscal repairs (54 medial, 28 lateral) in 80 patients during the study period. Patient follow-up was obtained on 94% (77 of 82) of the meniscal repairs, allowing confirmation of meniscal repair success (defined as no repeat arthroscopic procedure) or failure. The overall success rate for meniscal repairs was 96% (74 of 77 patients) at 2-year follow-up.
CONCLUSION - Meniscal repair is a successful procedure in conjunction with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. When confronted with a "repairable" meniscal tear at the time of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, orthopaedic surgeons can expect an estimated >90% clinical success rate at 2-year follow-up using a variety of methods as shown in our study.