Meniscal Repair in Pediatric Populations: A Systematic Review of Outcomes
The loss of healthy meniscal tissue in pediatric populations has been shown to have many negative long term consequences on joint health, including higher rates of early-onset osteoarthritis pain and lower quality of overall life. Thus, meniscal preservation is of high importance for this particular group, especially with recent reports of increasing knee injury rates in adolescents and children. In this systematic review, the outcomes and complications following meniscal repairs of 301 meniscal tears in those younger than 18 years of age were evaluated.
Of all included meniscal tears, 173 patients also had ACL injuries. Meniscal repair results in these patients were improved when also undergoing ACL reconstruction. Of certain patients who were evaluated for meniscal tear patterns prior to repair surgery, different clinical success rates were noted for different lesion types. Of the three studies with available data, 24 of 26, 10 of 12, and 11 of 19 pediatric patients undergoing meniscal repair surgery returned to their previous level of sport. The information available suggests that arthroscopic repair of a meniscal tear in the pediatric population is an effective treatment option that has a low failure rate, provides good clinical outcomes, and preserves meniscal tissue.