Excellent long-term outcomes reported from meniscal transplantation, with the main risk factor for failure being more-advanced articular cartilage damage.


Risk Factors for Graft Failure After Meniscal Allograft Transplantation: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Kunze et al
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2023, 11(6). doi:10.1177/23259671231160296

There’s nothing new about meniscal transplantation – indeed, the first case series of meniscal transplants reported in the English-speaking scientific literature was from Klaus Milachowski, from München, in the way back in 1989! The problem is that most people simply don’t seem to know about it or realise that it’s a potential option for their knee.

Meniscus absent from knee

Meniscal allograft implanted

Kunze and a team from The Hospital For Special Surgery in New York recently performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published outcomes after meniscal transplantation surgery, particularly looking at what factors might potentially affect success. They analysed a total of 17 studies including 2184 patients, and found the following:

5-year outcomes ~10% failure (~90% success)
10-year outcomes ~20% failure (~80% success)

Sex or laterality (medial vs lateral) did not seem to affect outcome; however, poorer results were seen in those patients with more-advanced articular cartilage damage in their knee.

These conclusions fit in exactly with our own findings, from where we analysed the outcomes of our patients undergoing meniscal transplantation surgery:

The results of meniscal allograft transplantation surgery: what is success?
Searle, Asopa, Coleman & McDermott
BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2020 Mar 12;21(1):159. doi: 10.1186/s12891-020-3165-0.


So, one can expect a roughly 80% success rate for patients undergoing meniscal transplantation surgery; however, the longer you leave a knee with no meniscus and the worse the articular cartilage damage in the affected compartment becomes, the lower the probability will be that the patient will achieve a good outcome.

This strongly emphasises how meniscal transplantation is a very good option for those patients suffering pain in the knee from early wear and tear secondary, specifically, to the previous loss of some or all of their meniscus from that side of their knee previously, and how if this surgery is going to be needed, then it is better done sooner rather than later.

(Please note, however, that meniscal transplantation is not a viable option for people who have already developed fully-blown arthritis in their knee.)

Find out more about meniscal transplantation: CLICK HERE







3 January 2024