Public Release: 

New way to evaluate meniscus tear outcomes

Researchers utilize MRI to investigate how tears heal

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Las Vegas, NV - An individual's meniscus (cushion in the knee) is one of the most important ligaments in the leg providing stability, load bearing and preservation of the knee joint. It is also one of the most easily injured areas and difficult to fully heal. Researchers presenting their study at today's Specialty Day meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) utilized MRI data to determine the potential for biologic healing following a meniscus tear.

"Little is currently understood about the healing of meniscus tears when a root repair is performed via the pullout technique," said Matthew D. Pepe, MD, one of the study's authors from the Rothman Institute of Orthopaedics in Philadelphia, PA. "Our study provides new insight into how this may occur."

Ten patients were identified for investigation, having undergone a medial meniscus root repair. There were five females and five males in the study group with an average follow-up time of 30 months following surgery. MRI evaluations demonstrated a new tear medial to prior repair in four of nine patients. These four patients show a lack of biologic healing of the root attachment. This indicates significant stress on the area following the repair. Similar findings have also been shown in studies evaluating rotator cuff repair.

"My colleagues and I hope that more fully investigating how meniscus tears heal will lead to improved clinical outcomes for our patients," said Pepe.

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The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids. For more information on AOSSM or the STOP Sports Injuries campaign, visit http://www.sportsmed.org or http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org

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