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Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181f207dc
Original Research

Arthroscopic Meniscal Transplants in Soccer Players: Outcomes at 2- to 5-Year Follow-up

Alentorn-Geli, Eduard MD, MS, PhD*; Vázquez, Roberto Seijas MD*; Díaz, Pedro Álvarez MD*†; Cuscó, Xavier MD*; Cugat, Ramón MD, PhD*†‡

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Abstract

Objective: To assess the midterm effects of meniscal transplants on clinical and functional knee scores and on the return to sports rate in soccer players.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Clínica del Pilar, Barcelona, Spain.

Patients: Fifty-nine meniscal transplants in 57 patients between 2001 and 2006 were reviewed. Only soccer players with a history of meniscectomy and no other ipsilateral knee surgeries before or after the meniscal transplant were included in the study. Fifteen patients met inclusion criteria.

Intervention: Main outcomes were obtained from the sample after meniscal transplant and compared with preoperative data, with a mean follow-up of 36 months. A subgroup analysis was performed considering the degree of chondral lesion (no lesions, grade I-II, and grade III-IV).

Main Outcome Measures: Scores on Lysholm, Subjective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) form, and visual analog scale (VAS) scale for pain and information regarding return to play.

Results: One of the 15 patients had a graft failure (6.6%) after a daily life accident. Twelve of the 14 patients included in the analysis (85.7%) returned to play soccer. Patients demonstrated significant improvements for Lysholm (P = 0.006), Subjective IKDC Form (P = 0.001), and VAS for pain (P < 0.0001) scores after the meniscal transplant. Depending on the degree of chondral lesion (subgroup analysis), there were no significant interactions for Lysholm, Subjective IKDC Form, and VAS for pain scores.

Conclusions: Arthroscopic meniscal transplants improve knee symptoms and knee function and allow return to play in soccer players, regardless of the degree of chondral lesion.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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