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General Orthopaedics


The International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty (ISTA), 27th Annual Congress. PART 4.



Meniscal tears are very common and treated surgically by suturing or partial or total meniscectomy. After meniscectomy, the tibiofemoral contact area is decreased whih leads to higher contact stresses associated with clinical symproms and a faster progression of tibiofemoral osteoarthritis. Besides meniscus allograft transplantation, artificial implants have been developed to replace the menisci after meniscectomy.


We investigated the short- and medium-term clinical results and survivorship of two artificial meniscus implants used as a treatment for post-meniscectomy pain in young to middle-aged patients: the anchored polyurethane degradable Actifit® (2007–2013) and the non-anchored polycarbonate-urethane NUSurface® meniscal implants (2011–2013).


Sixty-seven Actifit were implanted in 67 patients with a mean age of 30.5 years (12 to 50) as a lateral meniscus replacement in 24 cases and medial in 43. Forty-one NUSurface were implanted as a medial meniscus replacement in 35 patients aged 31 to 61 at surgery. Clinical scores (KOOS, Lysholm, IKDC, VAS and EQ-5D) and MRI were obtained preoperatively and at 1, 2 and 5 years (if applicable) postoperatively. Complications and reinterventions were noted and cumulative implant survivorship computed.


Seventeen Actifit had been removed at a mean of 22 months postop for persisting pain and/or extrusion of the implant on MRI. Three were converted to a Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA), 7 replaced by a meniscal allograft and 7 were removed. The cumulative survivorship was 63.6% at 6 years. Forty-six patients with the Actifit in situ had a significant improvement of all clinical scores compared to preoperative scores (p<0.05) and were satisfied with the result. In the NUSurface group, 19 of the 41 implanted menisci had been removed at 2 to 26 months follow-up. Reasons for failure were radial tear or rupture of the meniscus in 7 cases, dislocation with or without tear in 4, synovitis and hydrops in 2 possibly related to synovial reaction to polymer particles, medial pressure caused by a too large size in 3 and persistent pain or OA evolution in 3. In 5 patients the implant was replaced by the same type artificial meniscus, unsuccessfully in 3. Besides, complications occurred in 32 patients including inflammation, effusion and squeaking. Nevertheless the KOOS, IKDC and VAS for pain were significantly improved at 12 months postoperatively (p<0.001).


Short-term clinical evaluation of artificial meniscal replacement after meniscectomy showed an initial improvement of pain and knee function. However, both in the anchored degradable polyurethane meniscal implant group as in the non-anchored polycarbonate-urethane implant group the number of short-term failures was high and associated with important morbidity. The hard, non-degradable polycarbonate-urethane meniscal implant was torn or worn in 7 cases within 2 years postop. Three patients had synovial reactions possibly related to particulate debris. In conclusion, the currently available artificial meniscal transplants have a too high short-term failure rate to be advocated for widespread clinical use.