Matthew J Brown*, David Feiner and William Wind
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University at Buffalo, USAFulltext PDF
Numerous studies have shown the biomechanical properties of the meniscus can be restored with repair. The aim of this study is to evaluate if partial undersurface tears of the medial meniscus encountered at the time of arthroscopy have any biomechanical impact on the contact area and peak pressure of the knee.
Methods: Nine unmatched cadaveric knees were harvested. The knees were inspected for prior disease and then prepared for loading on an MTS hydraulic machine at 1800 N at 0 degrees of flexion. A 1.5cm, 50% partial undersurface tear of the medial meniscus was simulated, starting posterior to the deep Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and continuing towards the posterior horn. After the simulated tear the specimens were trialed at 1800 N on the MTS machine. Contact area and peak pressure were recorded.
Results: There was no difference in the contact area before or after the simulated tear on the medial meniscus. Medial contact area in mm2 was 286.2 in the control group vs. 294.7 in the tear group (p=0.441). Lateral contact area in mm2 was 400.3 in the control group, compared to 383.6 in the tear group (p=0.139).No difference in peak pressure before or after the simulated medial meniscus tear on the medial or lateral meniscus was demonstrated. Peak pressure on the medial meniscus was 3678.7 KPa in the controls and 3545.8 in the tear group, with p=201. Peak pressure laterally was 5893.2 KPa in controls vs. 5721.0 in tears with a p=953.
Conclusion: Statistical analysis demonstrates no biomechanical difference in contact area or peak pressure when a medial undersurface partial meniscal tear is encountered during arthroscopy. It may be extrapolated from this data that is safe for a surgeon who encounters this type of tear to treat it non-surgically or without repair at the time of surgery.
Brown MJ, Feiner D, Wind W. Biomechanical Effects of a Partial Undersurface Medial Meniscal Tear. Sports Med Rehabil J. 2016; 1(1): 1002.