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JOURNAL ARTICLE

The effect of meniscal repair on strength deficits 6 months after ACL reconstruction

M Wenning, A H Heitner, M Mauch, D Gehring, C Ramsenthaler, J Paul
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2020 January 29
31996981

INTRODUCTION: Ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be accompanied by meniscal lesions. Generally, the rehabilitation protocols are altered by meniscal repair. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of meniscal repair on the early recovery of thigh muscle strength in ACL reconstruction (ACLR).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a matched cohort analysis of n = 122 isolated ACLR (CON) compared to n = 61 ACLR with meniscal repair (ACLR + MR). The subgroups of meniscal repair consisted of 30 patients who had undergone medial meniscus repairs (MM), 19 lateral meniscus repairs (LM) and 12 repairs of medial and lateral meniscus (BM). Isokinetic strength measurement was performed pre-operatively and 6 months post-surgery to perform a cross-sectional and a longitudinal analysis. All injuries were unilateral, and the outcome measures were compared to the non-affected contralateral leg.

RESULTS: Six months postoperatively overall there is no significant difference between the groups (extension strength MR 82% vs. CON 85% and flexion strength 86% vs. 88%, resp.). Subgroup analysis showed that medial repairs exhibit a comparable leg symmetry while lateral repairs performed worse with leg symmetry being 76% in extension and 81% in flexion strength. Patients undergoing BM repair performed in between lateral and medial repairs (82% extension, 86% flexion).

CONCLUSION: Generally, meniscal repair in conjunction with ACLR does not significantly alter the recovery of limb symmetry in strength at 6 months postoperatively. Interestingly, medial repairs seem to perform superior to lateral meniscal repair and repair of both menisci. Since the recovery of symmetric strength is a major factor in rehabilitation testing, these results will help to advise surgeons on appropriate rehabilitation protocols and setting realistic goals for the injured athlete.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III, retrospective cohort study.

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