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Original Article| Volume 31, ISSUE 12, P2295-2300.e5, December 2015

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Understanding of Meniscus Injury and Expectations of Meniscus Surgery in Patients Presenting for Orthopaedic Care

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study is to assess orthopaedic patient knowledge and perceptions about the meniscus, meniscal injury, and treatment to identify gaps in orthopaedic patients' understanding and to assess the outcomes most important to these patients.

      Methods

      A 41-question survey was designed to measure knowledge and perception of meniscal tears regarding anatomy, function, surgical indications, operative techniques, risks, overall benefits of repair or removal, and recovery times. Study participants aged between 18 and 60 years were recruited from an academic orthopaedic sports medicine clinic regardless of their present complaint. Patients aged younger than 18 years were excluded.

      Results

      We surveyed 253 individuals (132 men and 121 women), with a mean age of 38 years. Most respondents (62%) rated their knowledge about the meniscus as little or no knowledge. Participants answered between 49% and 50% of questions regardless of how they self-rated their knowledge base. There was no correlation between perceived knowledge and percent answered correctly or between level of knee injury/surgery exposure and percent answered correctly. Only 28% of respondents knew that partial meniscectomy is the most common type of surgical treatment for meniscal tears. The risk of osteoarthritis developing and the risk of further surgery were the major concerns regarding meniscus surgery. Those who had undergone a previous meniscus surgery performed better on factual questions regarding meniscus structure (P = .0006), function (P = .0001), mechanism of injury (P = .0001), and the need for surgery (P = .0001) than those who had not undergone previous meniscus surgery.

      Conclusions

      Patients having undergone prior meniscus surgery have better knowledge of meniscus injury and treatment than those who have not had previous meniscus injury. Meniscus repair is believed to be the most common treatment rather than meniscectomy. The risk of needing additional surgery and the risk of arthritis developing after meniscus surgery are the main concerns among respondents.
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