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Younger Patients Are More Likely to Undergo Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair and Revision Meniscal Surgery in a Large Cross-Sectional Cohort

      Purpose

      To evaluate recent trends in the treatment of meniscal tears with arthroscopic repair and debridement and to assess revision surgery within 2 years using a large cross-sectional database.

      Methods

      Patients with a diagnosis of meniscal tear from 2010 to 2017 were queried using the Mariner data set from PearlDiver. Patient demographic data were analyzed and tracked via International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes to investigate subsequent ipsilateral meniscal procedures and conversion to total knee arthroplasty within 2 years after index meniscal surgery.

      Results

      Of the 1,383,161 patients with a diagnosis of meniscal tear, 53.0% underwent surgical treatment. Surgical treatment consisted of meniscal debridement in 96.6% of patients and meniscal repair in 3.4%. The percentage of meniscal repairs increased from 2.7% to 4.4% over the 8-year period evaluated, whereas the percentage of meniscal debridement decreased from 97.3% to 95.6% (P < .0001). Younger patients were more likely to undergo meniscal repair (23% of those aged 10-19 years) than older patients (<1% of those aged ≥60 years). Among the 191,729 patients with International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision coding and 2-year follow-up, 10.6% of patients with index meniscal repair required a revision meniscal operation and 1.2% underwent conversion to arthroplasty. Subsequent meniscal procedures within 2 years after index meniscal repair included meniscal debridement in 81.6% of patients and revision repair in 18.4%. Patients who initially underwent meniscal debridement were less likely to undergo revision meniscal surgery (5.1%), but 4.7% required conversion to arthroplasty. Patients aged 10 to 19 years were most likely to undergo revision meniscal procedures after both index meniscal repair (12.8%) and meniscal debridement (8.8%).

      Conclusions

      The rate of meniscal repair is increasing over time, with patients younger than 30 years most likely to undergo repair for a meniscal tear. Revision surgery for meniscal repair or debridement is more common in adolescents and patients who undergo an index meniscal repair.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, retrospective cohort study.
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