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Meniscus Surgery in Children Provides Long-Term Benefits

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Jul 2018
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Image: A new study asserts that repairing meniscus tears in children improves their lives as adults (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).
Image: A new study asserts that repairing meniscus tears in children improves their lives as adults (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).
Young patients who underwent surgery for isolated meniscus tears showed positive long-term clinical results, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) reviewed 32 patients--for a total of 33 knees--who underwent surgery between 1990 and 2005; at the time of repair, the average age of patients was 16.1 years. The review was held at an average follow-up of 17.6 years after surgery, at which time none of the 33 knees had a failed repair since a previous follow-up in 2008. The patients had an average International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score of 92.3, demonstrating a continued increase from a pre-operative average of 65.3, and a mid-term average of 90.2.

The average Tenger activity score was 6.53, lower than the pre-operative 8.33 and mid-term 8.39 scores. The researchers cautioned, however, that decreasing sports activity with concomitant increasing age might also be an independent risk factor, and as such not indicative of poorer surgical outcomes. The study was presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) annual meeting, held during July 2018 in San Diego (CA, USA).

“These numbers show a significant, lasting improvement in functional outcomes for those involved in this study,” said corresponding author orthopedic surgeon Aaron Krych, MD. “Finding the best treatment options for these meniscus tears is important not only to the patient's immediate recovery, but for long-term health and wellness. Our research team believes the data from this study shows the promise of surgery for young patients with these types of injuries.”

Treatment options for meniscus tears include surgical repair; surgical removal of the torn section (partial meniscectomy); and surgical removal of the entire meniscus (total meniscectomy). Nonsurgical options include rest, ice packs, compression, elevation, and physical therapy. Successful repair of meniscus tears depends to a large degree on where the tear is located. While tears at the outer edge of the meniscus tend to heal well, surgical repair of a tears that extend into the center of the meniscus are questionable, due to reduced blood supply.

Related Links:
Mayo Clinic

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