Synthetic meniscal implants

A June 2022 paper (1) assessed  failure rates and clinical outcomes of synthetic meniscal implants following partial meniscectomy. Meniscal (tissue replacement) substitution with scaffolds may be advantageous following partial meniscal resection. . . However, “the evidence for meniscal scaffold use is insufficient to suggest that they could potentially improve clinical outcomes in patients post-meniscal resection. This is largely due to the high proportion of concurrent procedures performed at index procedure . . . On the basis of current evidence, the use of meniscal scaffolds as a sole treatment for partial meniscal defects cannot be recommended, owing to the relatively high failure rate and paucity of clinical data.”

An April 2021 paper (2) In this randomized controlled trial involving subjects with knee pain following partial meniscectomy, the researchers hypothesized that treatment with a synthetic medial meniscus replacement  implant provides significantly greater improvements in knee pain and function compared to non-surgical care alone.  In this prospective, multicenter randomized controlled trial , subjects with persistent knee pain following one or more previous partial meniscectomies were randomized to receive either medial meniscus replacement  or non-surgical care.  Treated subjects had an average age of 52 years old  and one or more previous partial meniscectomies at an average of 34 months. Treatment with the synthetic MMR implant resulted in significantly greater improvements in knee pain, function, and quality of life at 1 year of follow-up compared to treatment with non-surgical care alone.

A September 2021 paper (3) Meniscal allograft transplantation provides treatment options for patients with a meniscus-deficient knee with lifestyle-limiting symptoms in the absence of advanced degenerative changes. Meniscal transplantation helps to restore the native biomechanics of the involved knee, which may provide chondroprotective effects and restoring additional knee stability. Improvements in pain, function, and activity level have been seen in appropriately selected patients undergoing transplantation. . . Although meniscal transplantation may serve as a salvage procedure for symptomatic patients with a meniscus-deficient knee, it may prevent or delay the necessity of a more invasive arthroplasty procedure.

A June 2022 paper (4) aimed to assess the impact of biodegradable polyurethane meniscus scaffold implantation  on muscle strength and balance in comparison with the healthy contralateral knee in patients with irreparable medial meniscus defect. BPMSI led to decreased pain and improved function at postoperative week 36. Although muscle strength almost returned to normal, balance parameters did not recover within 36 weeks after the procedure.


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