Young athletes with knee pain may turn to meniscus transplant

Posted By News On March 15, 2014 - 11:30am

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Patients undergoing meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT) surgery require an additional operation approximately 32% of the time, but overall see a 95% success rate after an average five-year follow-up, according to new research released today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day.

"Our research shows a positive mid to long-term outcome for patients who require MAT surgery," commented lead author Dr. Frank McCormick from Holy Cross Orthopedic Institute in Fort Lauderdale Florida, and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "While 64 patients out of the 172 we followed needed additional surgery, the overall survival of transplanted grafts suggests we can confidently recommend this procedure moving forward."

The study took place from January 2003 to April 2011, with patients receiving the same surgical technique as well as the same 4-6 week rehab. Follow-up surgeries included removal of tissue, equipment, and in some cases a revision of the original surgery.

"A healthy meniscus is critical to a fully functioning knee, and so also key to leading an active lifestyle," noted McCormick. "Our latest data shows that patients with damaged knees can certainly recover and return to form with the right kinds of treatment."

Athletes seem to have more options today than when I was younger. This is a benefit with the replacement for the meniscus so that young people can continue with their athletic abilities. The question I would ask is that out of those who needed further surgery, how many of those had prior issues with the meniscus? Did those athletes do any kind of physical therapy after the surgery to help strengthen the area? The transplant could be a positive thing for those who want to play sports in college or as a professional instead of it limiting their playing ability.

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