Scaffolds for partial meniscal replacement: an updated systematic review

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Meniscectomy, a most common orthopaedic procedure, results in increased contact area of the articular surfaces of tibia and femur leading to early osteoarthritis. We systematically review the literature on clinical outcomes following partial meniscal replacement using different scaffolds.

Sources of data

We performed a comprehensive search of Medline, CINAHL, Embase and the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials. The reference lists of the selected articles were then examined by hand. Only studies focusing on investigation of clinical outcomes on patients undergoing a partial meniscal replacement using a scaffold were selected. We then evaluated the methodological quality of each article using the Coleman methodology score (CMS), a 10 criteria scoring list assessing the methodological quality of the selected studies (CMS).

Areas of agreement

Fifteen studies were included, all prospective studies, but only 2 were randomized controlled trials. Biological scaffolds were involved in 12 studies, 2 studies investigated synthetic scaffolds, whereas 1 remaining article presented data from the use of both classes of device. The mean modified CMS was 64.6.

Areas of controversy

Several demographic and biomechanical factors could influence the outcomes of this treatment modality.

Growing points

Partial replacement using both classes of scaffolds achieves significant and encouraging improved clinical results when compared with baseline values or with controls when present, without no adverse reaction related to the device.


There is a need for more and better designed randomized trials, to confirm with a stronger level of evidence the promising preliminary results achieved by the current research.

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