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Biochemical Characteristics and Clinical Result of Bone Marrow–Derived Fibrin Clot for Repair of Isolated Meniscal Injury in the Avascular Zone

      Purpose

      To characterize bone marrow aspirate–derived fibrin clot (BMA clot) and evaluate the clinical result of meniscal repair with a BMA clot for isolated meniscal injury in the avascular zone.

      Methods

      Blood counts of total leukocytes, platelets, and concentrations of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), and stromal cell–derived factor 1 (SDF-1) were analyzed with BMA, peripheral blood (PB), BMA clot, and PB clot from 5 patients treated for meniscal repair. In addition, a retrospective analysis of 30 patients with isolated avascular meniscal injuries who underwent repair with a BMA clot was performed to assess rate failure. Avascular meniscal injury was identified as horizontal tear, radial tear, and flap tear. Clinical failure was defined as the presence of 1 or more of Barrett’s criteria. Anatomic failure was defined as the existence of equivalent signal intensity to intra-articular fluid along the repair area on follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients’ demographic and clinical data were compared between the overall failure group and the success group.

      Results

      The bFGF, TGF-β, and SDF-1 levels of BMA clots were more highly concentrated compared with PB clots. The Lysholm scores and meniscal status evaluated by MRI were significantly improved from preoperatively to postoperatively (both P < .001). The Kellgren-Lawrence grading of knee radiographs did not significantly differ pre- and postoperatively (P = .140). Rates of clinical failure, anatomic failure, and retear were 10%, 6.7%, and 3.3%, respectively. The demographic characteristics and surgical and postoperative status did not significantly differ between the overall failure group and the success group.

      Conclusions

      BMA clots had increased levels of cytokines compared to PB clots. The retrospective analysis revealed that the rates of clinical failure and anatomic failure after meniscal repair with a BMA clot for isolated avascular meniscal injury were 10% and 6.7%, respectively.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, case series.
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