Background: Although partial meniscectomy is a common treatment for the tears in the avascular region of the meniscus, mechanical alterations following meniscectomy are known to initiate mechanically-induced osteoarthritis. We aimed to measure the articular cartilage contact pressure distributions in the knees with surgically repaired and partially resected menisci in the avascular region. Methods: A pneumatic loading device was developed to apply a 1000 N compressive load on the cadaveric porcine knee samples at the flexion angles of 20, 35, 50, and 65°. We simulated longitudinal meniscal tears in the avascular inner 1/3 portion and the well-vascularized middle 1/3 portion of the meniscus. Articular cartilage contact pressures for the knees with intact, torn, repaired, and resected menisci were compared. Findings: For the tears in well-vascularized regions, meniscal repairs restored articular cartilage contact pressures to the levels in intact joints. However, partial meniscectomy significantly increases the maximum contact pressures and the average contact pressures in highly compressed areas. However, partial meniscectomy in the avascular region did not alter the maximum articular cartilage contact pressures and the average contact pressures in highly compressed areas. Stabilities in knee samples were not significantly altered following partial meniscectomy in both inner and middle regions. Interpretation: Although repair surgeries are beneficial for the tears in well-vascularized areas because the articular cartilage contact mechanics are reconstructed, partial meniscectomy may be a viable alternative treatment for the tears in avascular regions without introducing significant mechanical alterations.
- Articular cartilage
- Contact mechanics
- Meniscal tear
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine