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Twenty-six years of meniscal allograft transplantation: is it still experimental? A meta-analysis of 44 trials

  • Knee
  • Published:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy Aims and scope

Abstract

Purpose

Since the first meniscal allograft transplantation in 1984, thousands of patients with postmeniscectomy symptoms have been treated by allograft replacement. This study aims the collection, presentation and meta-analysis of published trials reporting outcomes of meniscal allograft transplantation to establish its safety and reproducibility.

Methods

A literature search was conducted and the abstracts of all English-language trials with a more than 6 months’ clinical, radiological and/or histological follow-up in human subjects were reviewed. Forty-four trials representing 1,136 grafts in 1,068 patients were analyzed. To assess the methodological quality of the collected data, original and modified Coleman methodology scores were determined for all included papers.

Results

The outcomes of 678 medial and 458 lateral grafts in 613 male, 265 female and 190 nondefined patients with a mean age of 34.8 years were presented. The outcome was assessed using 12 scoring systems, 4 imaging modalities, second-look arthroscopy and/or histological analysis. Whatever the follow-up period and the scoring system used, patients continuously showed clinical improvement. The average original Coleman scores were 45.9 ± 8.4 (range 25–59). The average modified Coleman scores were 43.7 ± 9.1 (range 24–62).

Conclusions

All studies reported a continuously satisfactory outcome with restoration of working capacity in these active patients. The complication and failure rates are considered acceptable by all authors. Salvage procedures included osteotomy and arthroplasty without secondary difficulties. Meniscal allograft transplantation can be considered as safe and reliable for the treatment of refractory postmeniscectomy symptoms in selected patients.

Level of evidence

IV.

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Correspondence to Aad Dhollander.

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Mohamed ElAttar and Aad Dhollander have contributed equally to this article and share first authorship.

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ElAttar, M., Dhollander, A., Verdonk, R. et al. Twenty-six years of meniscal allograft transplantation: is it still experimental? A meta-analysis of 44 trials. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 19, 147–157 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-010-1351-6

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