Meniscal allograft transplantation in the paediatric population: early referral is justified
The need for meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT) in children is rare, and as a result, there is a paucity of evidence detailing survivorship and clinical outcome. MAT has been shown to significantly reduce pain and improve function in the adult population. The aim of this study was to document the outcomes of a single surgeon case series of MAT in the paediatric population.
Analysis of a prospective meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT) group database of 280 patients was performed. Twenty-three patients met the inclusion criteria—undergoing MAT aged 18 years or younger.
Fourteen were female and nine were male with median age of 17 (range 8–18). Thirteen (57%) were right knee and nineteen (83%) were lateral. Additional procedures included high tibial osteotomy, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and microfracture procedures. The median follow-up was 3.8 years (range of 0.2 to 7.8 years). There have been no cases of graft failure. All patients demonstrated improvement in all the modalities of the KOOS outcome scores. At 5 years, the Lysholm score had improved from 57.9 to 87.6 (SD 12.1), Tegner activity score had improved from 2 to 5 (range 4–7) and IKDC score had improved from 40.6 to 78.6 (SD 15.8). Four patients required secondary surgical intervention. No patients developed a superficial or deep infection.
Meniscal allograft transplantation in children is founded on the successful results of MAT in the adult population. We have demonstrated in this series that MAT can improve function and reduce pain in the paediatric population, and is, therefore, a viable treatment option for the management of the symptomatic paediatric meniscal-deficient knee. Early referral should be considered in the patients with post-meniscectomy syndrome, pain on weight bearing with a history of previous menisectomy.
Level of evidence
KeywordsMeniscal allograft transplant Paediatric meniscal injury Paediatric knee pain
SM: data collection and analysis, and author of manuscript; LA: data collection and analysis; CS: manuscript editing; PT: manuscript editing; TS: concept of study, performed surgery, data collection, analysis, and manuscript editing.
No funding was obtained for this work.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Collection of outcome data was approved by the hospital research and development department.
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