The Fate Of Meniscus Tears Left in situ At The Time Of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction : A 6-year Follow-up Study From The Moon Cohort

Journal Article


Meniscus tears frequently accompany acute anterior cruciate ligament ruptures. Management of meniscus tears is highly variable and includes repair, meniscectomy, and non-treatment of tears identified at the time of ACL reconstruction. The purpose of this study is to determine the rate of subsequent reoperation and clinical outcome of meniscal tears left in situ without treatment at the time of ACL reconstruction with a minimum follow-up of 6 years.


Patients with meniscus tears left untreated at the time of primary ACL reconstruction were identified from a multicenter study group between 2002 and 2004 with minimum 6-year follow-up. Patient demographic variables, comorbidities, meniscus tear characteristics, and information on subsequent surgery were obtained. The primary endpoint of the study was need for reoperation for meniscal pathology. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used in order to determine patient demographic variables and meniscus tear characteristics that served as risk factors for reoperation.


There were 1440 primary ACL reconstructions performed during the timeframe of the study. There were 955 patients (66.3%) with concomitant meniscal tears identified. Of these, 143 (15.3%) had meniscal tears left in situ at the time of surgery. There were 11 patients (7.9%) who underwent reoperation for meniscal pathology within the same compartment as the meniscal tear left in situ (Table 1). Reoperation was performed more frequently for medial meniscus tears as compared to lateral meniscus tears (17.6% vs. 4.3%, p = 0.048). Medial meniscus tears and tears ≥10 mm in length were identified as risk factors for reoperation.


Lateral and medial meniscus tears left in situ at the time of ACL reconstruction did not require reoperation at minimum 6-year follow-up in 95.7% and 82.4% of patients, respectively. Our results suggest that surgeons should consider alternative treatment for medial meniscus tears and tears ≥ 10 mm in length at the time of ACL reconstruction.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Duchman, KR; Westermann, RW; Spindler, KP; Amendola, A; Wolf, BR; Parker, RD; Andrish, JT; Withrow, LJ; Reinke, E; Kaeding, CC; Wright, RW; Marx, RG; McCarty, EC; Wolcott, ML; Dunn, WR

Published Date

  • July 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 7 suppl2

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4901619

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2325-9671

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2325-9671


  • eng