Meniscal Root Tears
Meniscus root tears are a specific type of meniscal injury that have gained attention over the past several years. They are defined as lesions either directly at the attachment point between the meniscus and tibia, or within 1 cm of that insertion. These injuries result in failure of the menisci to properly absorb and distribute forces throughout the knee, and have been associated with certain signs and symptoms. The most common symptoms in meniscal root tears are pain behind the knee that is especially worse when squatting and a “popping” sound that can be heard during light, daily activities such as ascending stairs. Several signs of meniscal root tears can also be identified in magnetic resonance imaging, such as significant meniscal extrusion, which is when the meniscus protrudes out of the joint space by 3 millimeters or more.
Meniscal root repair is a potential treatment option that has demonstrated to have higher satisfaction rates and superior outcomes compared to arthroscopic removal of the meniscus (meniscectomy). Eligible patients are young or middle-aged without significant preexisting osteoarthritis, who have suffered a recent meniscal root tear. This procedure involves a transosseous repair technique that allows for a broad base to fix and anchor the meniscal root to, as well as tunnels through the tibia that may allow release for biological factors to enhance the healing of the repair.