One-Third of Meniscal Tears Are Repairable: An Epidemiological Study Evaluating Meniscal Tear Patterns in Stable and Unstable Knees

Published:January 29, 2019DOI:


      To analyze, in a long series of patients with knee injuries, the meniscal tear patterns in both stable and unstable knees to ascertain the exact proportion of such injuries that could have been repaired.


      A descriptive cross-sectional study was undertaken by reviewing the clinical reports of arthroscopic knee operations carried out in 1 hospital. A total of 2,066 consecutive patients were included in the study. An analysis of clinical and anatomical data of knee lesions, including the shape of the meniscal tears and the surrounding injuries, was performed.


      Out of all meniscal tears, 34.9% were found to be repairable, a figure that rose to 55.6% in those tears accompanied by anterior cruciate ligament injuries; 37% of meniscal tears in male patients were repairable, and 28% in their female counterparts; 38.2% of medial meniscal tears were repairable and 30.6% in their lateral counterparts. The most frequently encountered injury was the complex tear (46.9%).


      Our study concludes that, according to current standard indications, 34.9% of all meniscal injuries offer the potential for repair. Where the injury is also accompanied by anterior cruciate ligament damage, the proportion of repairable tears rises to 55.6%. This information should increase the interest for meniscal preservation in the future.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, case series.
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