Original Article| Volume 23, ISSUE 4, P388-393.e3, April 2007

Meniscus Allograft Transplantation: Ten-Year Results of Cryopreserved Allografts

      Purpose: We report the results of cryopreserved meniscus allograft transplantations with 10 or more years of follow-up. Methods: Fourteen medial and 8 lateral meniscus allografts were evaluated with a mean follow-up of 141 months (range, 115 to 167 months). The clinical outcome and failure rate was evaluated by use of a Lysholm score and modified pain score in 22 patients. The results of radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis were reported in 15 and 7 patients, respectively. Results: Overall, 25% of medial allografts and 50% of lateral allografts failed. The combined failure rate was 35%. There was a 90% improvement in Lysholm scores, as well as pain scores. There were no discernible Lysholm or pain score differences for both lateral and medial allografts. Furthermore, there was no discernible difference in both Lysholm and pain scores between bone plug and soft-tissue methods of graft fixation. Ten of fifteen allografts showed radiographic joint space narrowing, and twelve had progression of degenerative joint disease. On MRI, all grafts had moderate meniscus shrinkage and five had grade III signal intensities. Eighty-five percent of patients underwent subsequent procedures, 5 of whom required total allograft resection and 2 of whom required partial allograft resection. One allograft required repair. Conclusions: Although transplantation of cryopreserved allografts improved knee pain and function, the average knee function was fair at long-term follow-up. Fifty-five percent of allografts failed when failure criteria for second-look surgery, knee improvement surveys, and MRI were added to Lysholm and pain score failures. The protective benefits of meniscus allografts remain debatable, and inferences cannot be made from this study. Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Arthroscopy
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Peters G.
        • Wirth C.J.
        The current state of meniscal allograft transplantation and replacement.
        Knee. 2003; 10: 19-31
        • Cole B.J.
        • Carter T.R.
        • Rodeo S.A.
        Allograft meniscal transplantation: Background, techniques, and results.
        Instr Course Lect. 2003; 52: 383-396
        • Noyes F.R.
        • Barber-Westin S.D.
        • Rankin M.
        Meniscus transplantation in symptomatic patients less than fifty years old.
        J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004; 86: 1392-1404
        • Rijk P.C.
        Meniscal allograft transplantation—Part I: Background, results, graft selection and preservation, and surgical considerations.
        Arthroscopy. 2004; 20: 728-743
        • Rijk P.C.
        Meniscal allograft transplantation—Part II: Alternative treatments, effects on articular cartilage, and future directions.
        Arthroscopy. 2004; 20: 851-859
        • Noyes F.R.
        • Barber-Westin S.D.
        Irradiated meniscus allografts in the human knee: A two to five year follow up study.
        Orthop Trans. 1995; 19: 417
        • Rath E.
        • Richmond J.C.
        • Yassir W.
        • Albright J.D.
        • Gundogan F.
        Meniscal allograft transplantation.
        Am J Sports Med. 2001; 29: 410-414
        • Ryu R.K.
        • Dunbar V.W.H.
        • Morse G.G.
        Meniscus allograft replacement: A 1-year to 6-year experience.
        Arthroscopy. 2002; 18: 989-994
        • Milachowski K.A.
        • Weismeier K.
        • Wirth C.J.
        Homologous meniscus transplantation.
        Int Orthop. 1989; 13: 1-11
        • Verdonk P.C.
        • Demurie A.
        • Almqvist K.F.
        • Veys E.M.
        • Verbruggen G.
        • Verdonk R.
        Transplantation of viable meniscal allograft.
        J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005; 87: 715-724
        • Veltri D.M.
        • Warren R.F.
        • Wickiewicz T.L.
        • O’Brien S.J.
        Current status of allograft meniscal transplantation.
        Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994; : 44-55
        • Wirth C.J.
        • Peters G.
        • Milachowski K.A.
        • Weismeier K.G.
        • Kohn D.
        Long-term results of meniscal allograft transplantation.
        Am J Sports Med. 2002; 30: 174-181
        • van Arkel E.R.
        • de Boer H.H.
        Survival analysis of human meniscal transplantations.
        J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2002; 84: 227-231
        • Garrett J.C.
        • Stevensen R.N.
        Meniscal transplantation in the human knee: A preliminary report.
        Arthroscopy. 1991; 7: 57-62
        • Stollsteimer G.T.
        • Shelton W.R.
        • Dukes A.
        • Bomboy A.L.
        Meniscal allograft transplantation: A 1- to 5-year follow-up of 22 patients.
        Arthroscopy. 2000; 16: 343-347
        • Carter T.R.
        Meniscal allograft transplantation.
        Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 1999; 7: 51-62