Several Techniques Exist With Favorable Biomechanical Outcomes in Radial Meniscus Tear Repair—A Systematic Review

Published:February 18, 2022DOI:


      To compare biomechanical properties of various radial tear repair techniques in the medial and lateral menisci.


      A search was performed for key words regarding mechanical properties of repair of radial meniscal tears in PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Scopus, and Cochrane databases, yielding 1791 articles. Articles were screened using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines against inclusion criteria and underwent Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) methodologic quality assessment. Repair constructs evaluated were classified based on repair technique, use of a transtibial augmentation, and the number, orientation, and pattern of stitches. Results published across different studies were compared but not subjected to meta-analysis due to variability in testing procedures and heterogeneity of repair methods.


      We identified 20 studies that performed mechanical testing on 21 different radial meniscal tear repair techniques. The greatest reported mean load-to-failure (LtF) were the transtibial 2-tunnel + 4 horizontal inside-out sutures (191.2 N ± 17.3, cadaver) and all-inside double vertical repair (146.3 N ± 36.2, porcine). The transtibial technique improved LtF and displacement of an inside-out (IO) horizontal repair. All-inside vertical repairs demonstrated greater LtF, stiffness, and displacement compared with IO horizontal repairs in 2 studies. Compared with IO double horizontal repairs, all-inside double vertical or IO double horizontal repairs with reinforcing stitches parallel to the tear exhibited greater LtF in 3 studies and stiffness in 2 studies. Two studies reported that parallel reinforcing stitches significantly reduced suture tear-through compared with similar, nonreinforced repairs. Mean MINORS score for all studies analyzed was 19.88 ± 1.47 points.


      A systematic review demonstrated that there may be alternatives to traditional IO horizontal repairs for radial meniscus tears. Less-invasive all-inside vertical techniques reinforced with suture parallel to the tear instead of standard IO horizontal sutures may improve strength of repair. In addition, transtibial 2-tunnel augmentation may also increase strength of radial meniscus tear repairs.

      Clinical Relevance

      There may be alternatives to IO horizontal repairs for radial meniscus tears.
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