Prosthetic Replacement of the Medial Meniscus in Cadaveric Knees: Does the Prosthesis Mimic the Functional Behavior of the Native Meniscus?

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Abstract

Hypothesis

Optimal functioning of the prosthesis would involve realistic deformation and motion patterns of the prosthesis during knee joint motion.

Study Design

Controlled laboratory study.

Methods

The movements of the meniscus were determined during knee joint flexion and extension with and without internal and external tibial torque by means of roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis. Subsequently, the meniscus in 6 human cadaveric knee joints was replaced by a meniscus prosthesis.

Results

All different parts of the meniscus showed a posterior displacement during knee joint flexion. The anterior horn was more mobile than the posterior horn. The prosthesis mimicked the movements of the meniscus. However, the excursions of the prosthesis on the tibial plateau were less. The knee joint laxity was not significantly higher after replacement with the meniscus prosthesis.

Conclusions

The prosthesis approximated the behavior of the native meniscus. Improvement in both the gliding characteristics of the prosthetic material and the fixation of the prosthesis may improve the function.

Clinical Relevance

The meniscus prosthesis needs to be optimized to achieve a better initial function in the knee joint.

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