Outcomes After Biologically Augmented Isolated Meniscal Repair With Marrow Venting Are Comparable With Those After Meniscal Repair With Concomitant Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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Meniscal repair in the setting of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction has demonstrated superior outcomes compared with isolated meniscal repair. Limited evidence exists for the effects of biological augmentation in isolated meniscal repair, particularly as compared with meniscal repair with concomitant ACL reconstruction.


The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes and survivorship of meniscal repair in 2 cohorts of patients: meniscal repair with biological augmentation using a marrow venting procedure (MVP) of the intercondylar notch, and meniscal repair with concomitant ACL reconstruction. We hypothesized that the clinical outcomes and survivorship of meniscal repair with concomitant ACL reconstruction would be improved compared with meniscal repair with biological augmentation.

Study Design:

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.


Inclusion criteria were skeletally mature patients aged ≥16 years who underwent inside-out meniscal repair and either a concomitant MVP of the intercondylar notch or ACL reconstruction. Patients were excluded from this study if they were skeletally immature, underwent meniscus root or radial tear repair, or underwent meniscal repair with concurrent ligamentous reconstruction not limited to the ACL. At the preoperative evaluation and a minimum 2 years after the index meniscal repair procedure, patients were administered a subjective questionnaire. Differences in outcome scores, survivorship, and failure rates between the cohorts were assessed. Failure was defined as reoperation with meniscectomy or revision meniscal repair.


There were 109 patients (52 female, 57 male) who met the inclusion criteria for this study. There were 37 knees in cohort 1 (isolated meniscal repair plus MVP) and 72 knees in cohort 2 (meniscal repair plus ACL reconstruction). The failure status was known in 95 patients, and patient-reported outcome scores were obtained in 89 (82%) patients. Both cohorts demonstrated a significant improvement in all outcome scores, and there was no significant difference in any of the preoperative or postoperative outcome measures. The overall failure rate was 9.5% (9/95). There were 4 (12.9%) failures in cohort 1 and 5 failures (7.8%) in cohort 2, with no significant difference in failures between the cohorts (P = .429). There was a significant association between failure and female sex (P = .001).


The most important finding in this study was that there was no difference in outcomes in meniscal repair performed with biological augmentation using an MVP versus that performed concomitantly with ACL reconstruction. The similar outcomes reported for meniscal repair with an MVP and meniscal repair with ACL reconstruction may be partly attributed to biological augmentation.

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