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Age of 40 Years or Older Does Not Affect Meniscal Repair Failure Risk at 5 Years

      Purpose

      To compare meniscal repair failure rates in patients aged 40 years or older versus patients younger than 40 years.

      Methods

      A total of 276 patients underwent meniscal repair surgery by a single sports medicine fellowship–trained surgeon between 2006 and 2012 and were eligible for study inclusion. Patients were followed up for meniscal repair failure, defined as meniscectomy, repeated meniscal repair, or total knee arthroplasty. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the risk of failure while controlling for potential confounding variables including body mass index, sex, anterior cruciate ligament status, time from injury to surgery, number of implants used, tear pattern, and chondral status at the time of the repair.

      Results

      Among the 276 eligible patients, 221 (80%) were successfully contacted for follow-up at an average of 5 years after surgery. Of these patients, 56 were aged 40 years or older (mean, 47.2 years; standard deviation [SD], 5.3 years) and 165 were younger than 40 years (mean, 24.7 years; SD, 6.7 years). The overall meniscal repair failure rate over a 5-year period was 20%. Among patients aged 40 years or older, the failure risk was 18% versus 21% in patients younger than 40 years. After adjustment for confounding variables, age of 40 years or older was not associated with increased failure risk (adjusted odds ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.36-1.81; P = .65). The mean time to failure tended to be shorter in older patients, at 16.9 months (SD, 10.2 months) versus 28.5 months in the group younger than 40 years (SD, 23.3 months) (P = .04).

      Conclusions

      Age of 40 years or older is not associated with an increased risk of meniscal repair failure at 5 years, although a shorter time to failure was noted in this age cohort.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, retrospective comparative study.
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