Meniscal transplantation is often recommended after total meniscectomy for patients younger than 50  who remain symptomatic and show articular cartilage deterioration. But for how long are these transplants effective?

That’s what Noyes et al. attempt to answer in a survivorship analysis in the August 5, 2015 Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. Extending the follow-up from a JBJS study they published in 2005, the authors tracked 40 cryopreserved menisci implanted into 38 patients for an average of 11 years. They measured transplant survival in two distinct ways:

  1. In terms of symptom-driven endpoints, including transplant removal, revision, or tibiofemoral compartment pain
  2. In terms of additional asymptomatic “worst-case” endpoints, including grade-3 signal intensity, extrusion (>50% of meniscal width), evident meniscal tear (per MRI or physical examination), or radiographic loss of joint space.

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