Potential market for new meniscus repair strategies: evaluation of the MOON cohort.
This study aimed to determine the incidence of meniscal tears and describe the tear morphology and selected treatment in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. We also will discuss the potential market for future tissue engineering aimed at preserving meniscal function. A multicenter cohort of 1014 patients undergoing ACL reconstruction between January 2002 and December 2003 was evaluated. Data on patient demographics, presence of a meniscus tear at time of ACL reconstruction, tear morphology, and meniscal treatment were collected prospectively. Meniscal tears were categorized into 3 potential tissue engineering treatment strategies: all-biologic repair, advanced repair, and scaffold replacement. Of the knees, 36% had medial meniscal tears and 44% had lateral meniscal tears. Longitudinal tears were the most common tear morphology. The most frequent treatment method was partial meniscectomy. Thirty percent of medial meniscal tears and 10% of lateral meniscal tears are eligible for all-biologic repair; 35% of medial meniscal tears and 35% of lateral meniscal tears are eligible for an advanced repair technique; and 35% of medial meniscal tears and 55% of lateral meniscal tears are eligible for scaffold replacement. Although meniscal preservation is generally accepted in the treatment of meniscal tears, most tears in this cohort were not repairable, despite contemporary methods. The results of this cohort will hopefully stimulate and focus future research and development of new tissue engineering strategies for meniscus repair.