All-Cause Failure Rates Increase With Time Following Meniscal Repair Despite Favorable Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Zachariah Gene Wing Ow, Michelle Shi Ni Law, Cheng Han Ng, Aaron J. Krych, Daniel B.F. Saris, Pedro Debieux, Keng Lin Wong, Heng An Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this review is to perform a meta-analysis of studies reporting meniscus repair outcomes. Pooled analyses of such studies will provide an accurate estimate of the outcomes that can be expected following meniscal repair at various postoperative time points. Methods: A meta-analysis of meniscal repair failure (defined as persistent symptoms, lack of healing on magnetic resonance imaging or revision surgery) and other clinical outcomes was performed following meniscal repair. Patients included had traumatic, nondegenerative meniscal tears, were skeletally mature, and had specific time-points after surgery. Repairs included were performed either in isolation, or with concomitant ACL reconstruction. Because of the inherent heterogeneity of single-arm meta-analyses, pooled analyses were performed using a random-effects model. Results: Rates of all-cause meniscal repair failure was pooled to be 12% at 0-1 years (95% CI:.09-.16), 15% at 2-3 years (95% CI:.11-.20), and 19% at 4-6 years (95% CI:.13-.24). Sensitivity analysis for studies performing meniscal repair entirely on patients with concomitant ACL reconstruction (ACLR) showed comparable rates of failure at similar time intervals. Development of osteoarthritis, in patients with knees previously free from articular pathologies, was 4% at 2-3 years (95% CI:.02-.07), and 10% at 4-6 years (95% CI:.03-.25). Conclusion: Meniscus repair for traumatic injuries have an all-cause failure rate that increases from 12% to 19% through a time period ranging from 1-6 years following surgery. The failure rates were comparable for patients with meniscal repairs performed with concomitant ACLRs. Level of Evidence: IV; Systematic Review of Level II-IV Studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3518-3528
Number of pages11
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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