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Meniscal allograft transplantation

Rationale for treatment

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The anatomy and microstructure of the menisci allow the effective distribution of load across the knee. Meniscectomy alters the biomechanical environment and is a potent risk factor for osteoarthritis. Despite a trend towards meniscus-preserving surgery, many tears are irreparable, and many repairs fail.

Meniscal allograft transplantation has principally been carried out for pain in patients who have had a meniscectomy. Numerous case series have reported a significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes after surgery, but randomised controlled trials have not been undertaken.

It is scientifically plausible that meniscal allograft transplantation is protective of cartilage, but this has not been established clinically to date.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015; 97-B:590–4.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr N. A. Smith; e-mail:

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