Lateral Meniscal Allograft Transplant via a Medial Approach Leads to Less Extrusion

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Abstract

Background:

Accurate positioning of the bony bridge is crucial to prevent extrusion of meniscal allografts after transplant. However, oblique or lateralized placement of the bony bridge of the lateral meniscal allograft may occur due to technical error or a limited visual field. The patellar tendon may be an obstacle to approaching the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus, resulting in a laterally placed allograft. Therefore, lateral meniscal transplant through a medial arthrotomy would be an alternative approach. However, no report exists regarding allograft extrusion when comparing medial and lateral arthrotomy techniques in lateral meniscal transplants.

Hypothesis:

Extrusion of the midbody of the allograft is less severe and the rotation of the bony bridge is less oblique in lateral meniscal allograft transplants through the medial parapatellar approach than those through the lateral approach.

Study Design:

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods:

A bony bridge was used to perform 55 lateral meniscal transplants through either a medial or a lateral arthrotomy. Thirty-two allografts were transplanted through a medial arthrotomy and 23 were transplanted through a lateral arthrotomy, not randomly. Because correct positioning of the bony trough through the medial arthrotomy was easier than that through the lateral arthrotomy, the method of the arthrotomy was changed for the latter. The procedure for both groups was identical except for the arthrotomy technique, and rehabilitation was identical for both groups. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging was conducted for all patients to measure the postoperative extrusion and obliquity of the bony bridge of the allograft. On the coronal view, extrusion was measured as the distance between the outer edge of the articular cartilage of the lateral tibial plateau and the outer edge of the meniscal allograft. On the axial view, a line (line B) was drawn along the longitudinal axis of the bony bridge. The posterior tibial condylar tangential line was drawn between the medial and lateral posterior tibial condylar cortices. A line (line T) was drawn perpendicular to the posterior tibial condylar tangential line. The angle (trough angle) between lines B and T was measured. Postoperative extrusion and the trough angle were compared between the medial and lateral arthrotomy groups.

Results:

The median extrusion of the midbody of the allograft was 2.2 mm (interquartile range [IQR], 2.4 mm; range, 0-4.6 mm) in the medial arthrotomy group and 3.1 mm (IQR, 1.5 mm; range, 0-5.3 mm) in the lateral arthrotomy group (P = .001). Seven (21.9%) patients demonstrated extrusion in the medial arthrotomy group, and 15 (65.2%) patients had extrusion in the lateral group (P = .002). The median trough angle was 0.9° (IQR, 9.3°; range, -8.8-15.8°) in the medial arthrotomy group and 11.6° (IQR, 2.8°; range, 3-19.8°) in the lateral arthrotomy group (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Based on this experience, lateral meniscal allograft transplant through a medial arthrotomy is preferred to decrease postoperative extrusion of the allograft.

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