ARTHROSCOPIC MENISCUS REPAIR WITH BIOABSORBABLE ARROWS IN LOCAL ANESTHESIA
Background. The menisci have important function in the knee joint. Because of this it is universally accepted that we have to preserve them as much as possible. After open and partially arthroscopic suture techniques new methods of all-inside meniscus repair with bioabsorbable arrows have been developed in the last decade. The meniscus repair using these arrows represents an easy task for a skilled surgeon. In addition, it can be performed in local anesthesia. We have evaluated the results of the first group of patients who were treated by this method.
Methods. From February 2001 to August 2002 15 patients with torn meniscuses have been treated at the Clinical Department for Traumatology, University Medical centre, Ljubljana. We repaired their torn menisci arthroscopically with bioabsorbable arrows in local anesthesia. We divided patients in three groups: a group with isolated meniscus injury, a group with meniscus injury and anterior cruciate ligament injury and a group with associated pathology. Four patients had incarcerated meniscuses. Preoperative Lysholm score in the first group was 38, in the second 42 and in the third group 48. We repaired 12 medial and 3 lateral meniscuses. On average we need 45 minutes for therapeutic arthroscopy. Torn meniscus was fixated with minimum of 1 and maximum of 5 bioabsorbable arrows. All patients except one had the affected knee immobilized with cylinder plaster for 15 days on average.
Results. At least three months after the arthroscopic fixation of the torn meniscus in local anesthesia another clinical evaluation was made. In all groups significant improvement was observed regarding the range of motions and absence of pain. Postoperative Lysholm score in the first group was 89, in the second 75 and in the third 71. Average deficit of flexion was 3 degrees while extension was full. One patient complained about the same pain in the joint, he underwent another arthroscopy which showed that the meniscus was not healed. The second one had another injury. We partially removed meniscus at second operation in both cases. Two patients from the group with ACL injury underwent second operation because of ACL reconstruction. The meniscuses were stabile to palpation in both cases. We observed complications of the unspecific type only in one patient who had repetitive effusions.
Conclusions. We can confirm that the meniscus repair with bioabsorbable arrows is technically easy and fast procedure. It can be performed with good results in local anesthesia.
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