This study aimed to assess the cartilage status in patients who underwent isolated lateral meniscus allograft transplantation (MAT) using preoperative and postoperative quantitative 3-T magnetic resonance imaging T2 mapping at midterm follow-up period.
Patients who underwent lateral MAT without cartilage treatment procedures between 2010 and 2019 were assessed by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging preoperatively and postoperatively. On the sagittal section image following the center of the lateral femoral condyle, the weight-bearing area of the articular cartilage was divided into 6 segments based on the meniscal coverage area from anterior to posterior direction. The mean T2 values of each of the 6 segments were measured for 3 regions of interest: overall, deep, and superficial layers. The change in T2 values was statistically analyzed by paired t-tests. The Lysholm score was used to evaluate clinical function.
A total of 105 patients were included in the study. The mean follow-up period was 3.2 years (range 2.0-5.4 years). Among the 6 segments, the mean T2 value showed significant improvement in the overall layer of F2 (the middle weight-bearing area of femoral condyle) and TP3 (the posterior weight-bearing area of tibia condyle) segments (P = .013 and .021, respectively) and the superficial layer of the F3 (the posterior weight-bearing area of femoral condyle) segments (P = .028). The mean T2 value of all the other segments did not show a statistically significant change. The mean Lysholm score significantly improved from 66.5 ± 15.8 to 89.3 ± 10.0 (P < .001). Overall, 73.3% and 96.2% of the patients met the minimal clinically important difference and patient acceptable symptomatic state, respectively.
The mean T2 value of the articular cartilage of the weight-bearing area was either maintained or showed statistically significant improvement depending on the location following isolated lateral MAT. Thus, the transplanted meniscus seems to have a chondroprotective effect on the weight-bearing cartilage.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, retrospective therapeutic case series.
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Published online: November 01, 2022
Accepted: October 20, 2022
Received: March 29, 2022
The authors report that they have no conflicts of interest in the authorship and publication of this article. ICMJE author disclosure forms are available for this article online, as supplementary material.
© 2022 by the Arthroscopy Association of North America