Arthroscopic outside–in meniscal repair through a needle hole


      This article describes an alternative method for outside–in repair of a longitudinal meniscal tear through a needle hole, which will produce an almost negligible cutaneous scar. The procedure is performed under arthroscopic set-up using an 18-gauge needle preloaded with appropriate suture material. Insert the needle twice through the same cutaneous entry hole to form a mattress loop across the torn meniscal segments. The first insertion penetrates both segments and forms a loop. The second insertion then engages the outer segment and forms another loop. Draw the free end of this second loop into the joint and feed it into the first loop. Pull the first loop out from the joint together with the trapped portion near the free end, until the whole suture becomes a vertical mattress. Finally, tie a slipknot and several half hitches to close the meniscal gap under the stitch. In a large bucket-handle tear, stitches should be started at the middle and then alternating anteriorly and posteriorly 3 to 4 mm apart. To ensure that no significant extracapsular structures are trapped in each stitch, a 13-gauge needle can be used as a cannula sheath. This technique is economical and technically safe and simple for reparable meniscal lesions, including the posterior horn.

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