Prosthetic meniscal replacement offers the ability to stabilize the meniscectomized knee and provide prophylaxis against early degenerative arthritis. Since prosthetic meniscal replacement may be performed in the setting of normal articular cartilage, a prosthesis will be required to match the exact joint configuration, induce the same lubricity, produce the same coefficient of friction, and absorb and dampen the same joint forces (without incurring significant creep or abrasion) as does the normal meniscus. This feat is currently beyond the capabilities of artificial materials alone. Alternatively, collagen-based prostheses acting as resorbable regeneration templates offer the possibility of inducing regrowth of new menisci. This paper presents a summary of hypotheses, considerations, and laboratory evidence for the use of collagen-based, resorbable matrices as regeneration templates.
* From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center, San Francisco, California.
** From the Division of Military Trauma Research and Division of Pathology, Letterman Army Institute of Research, Presidio of San Francisco, California.
† From the Departments of Pathology, Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology, and Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
†† From the Tahoe Fracture and Orthopaedic Medical Clinic, South Lake Tahoe, California.
Reprint requests to Keven R. Stone, M.D., 3727 Buchanan St., San Francisco, CA 94123.
Received: June 30, 1989.