Combined posterior incision and arthroscopic intra-articular repair of the meniscus. An examination of factors affecting healing.

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Abstract

Using intra-articular techniques for meniscal repair, several factors associated with meniscal lesions were analyzed prospectively to determine their effects on healing of the repair. Although 260 medial or lateral meniscal repairs in 240 patients were done, 178 repairs in the 167 patients who were followed by postoperative arthroscopy or arthrography form the basis of this study. The results of the repairs were classified as healed, incompletely healed, or not healed. The average duration of follow-up was 100 weeks (range, twenty-eight to 231 weeks). By arthrographic or arthroscopic criteria, 61.8 per cent of the menisci healed, 16.9 per cent healed incompletely, and 21.3 per cent did not heal. Ninety-two per cent of the menisci were categorized as clinically stable, and 80 per cent of the patients returned to active sports participation. Positive correlations with healing were found in patients who had a narrow peripheral meniscal rim (zero to two millimeters) (p = 0.03) and in patients who had a repair that was associated with reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (p = 0.0001).

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