Meniscectomy versus meniscal repair: 10 years radiological and clinical results in vertical lesions in stable knee

C. Lutz*, F. Dalmay, F. P. Ehkirch, T. Cucurulo, C. Laporte, G. Le Henaff, J. F. Potel, N. Pujol, G. Rochcongar, E. Salledechou, R. Seil, F. X. Gunepin, B. Sonnery-Cottet, the French Arthroscopy Society (SFA)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Surgical management of meniscal lesion consists of either a meniscectomy or meniscal repair. Although repair offers immediate recovery after surgery, it is also associated with higher rates of revision. A meniscectomy, on the other hand is known to be associated with an early onset of osteoarthritis. The present study compared clinical and radiological results at 10 years between meniscectomy and meniscal repair in isolated vertical lesion in an otherwise stable knee. The hypothesis was that repair shows functional and radiological benefit over meniscectomy. Patients and method A multi-centric retrospective comparative study of 32 patients (24 male, 8 female). Mean follow-up was 10.6 years (range, 10–13 years). There were 10 meniscal repairs (group R) and 22 meniscectomies (group M), in 17 right and 15 left knees. Mean age at surgery was 33.45 ± 12.3 years (range, 9–47 years). There were 28 medial and 4 lateral meniscal lesions; 26 were in the red-red zone and 6 in red-white zone. Results Functional score: KOOS score was significantly higher in group R than M on almost all parameters: 98 ± 4.69 versus 77.38 ± 21.97 for symptoms (P = 0.0043), 96.89 ± 7.20 versus 78.57 ± 18.9 for pain (P = 0.0052), 99.89 ± 0.33 versus 80.88 ± 19.6 for daily life activities (P = 0.0002), 96.11 ± 9.83 versus 54.05 ± 32.85 for sport and leisure (P = 0.0005), but 91 ± 16.87 versus 68.15 ± 37.7 for quality of life (P = 0.1048). Radiology score: in group R, 7 patients had no features of osteoarthritis, and 2 had grade 1 osteoarthritis. In group M, 5 patients had grade 1 osteoarthritis, 10 grade 2, 3 grade 3 and 3 grade 4. Mean quantitative score was 0 (mean, 0.22 ± 0.44) in-group R and 2 (mean, 2.19 ± 0.98) in group M (P < 0.0001). Discussion At more than 10 year's follow-up, functional scores were significantly better with meniscal repair than meniscectomy on all parameters of the KOOS scale except quality of life. Functional and radiological scores correlated closely. These results show that meniscal repair for vertical lesions in stable knees protects against osteoarthritis and is therefore strongly recommended. Level of evidence IV; retrospective study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S327-S331
JournalOrthopaedics and Traumatology: Surgery and Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Knee
  • Long-term
  • Meniscal repair
  • Meniscectomy


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