Coronal Knee Alignment 40 Years after Total Meniscectomy in Adolescents: A Prospective Cohort Study

18 Aug 2017

Introduction: Meniscectomies result in altered knee biomechanics and increase contact forces on the operated knee joint. Methods: We assessed coronal knee alignment in relation to radiological osteoarthritis grading, clinical range of movement and patient reported outcome measures 40 years after total open meniscectomies in adolescence. Thirty eight knees (30 patients) that underwent total open meniscectomy were assessed on standardised weight-bearing anteroposterior radiographs for deviation from ‘physiological valgus angle’ in either direction (magnitude of malalignment). These values were analysed as per site of meniscectomy for correlations with radiographic scoring systems, range of motion and patient reported outcome measures. Results: Tibiofemoral angle was significantly more varus, and the magnitude of malalignment was significantly higher for the medial meniscectomy patients. The range of flexion was lower for those patients who underwent medial and lateral meniscectomies of the same knee. The patients who underwent meniscectomies of both knees had worse scores for IKDC and KOOS quality of life. Tibiofemoral angle, magnitude of malalignment and range of flexion strongly correlated with Ahlback, and Kellgren and Laurence scores, but patient reported that outcome measures did not correlate. Conclusion: Meniscectomy induced malalignment corresponds to the site of meniscectomy and the radiographic degree of osteoarthritis. While malalignment and reduced range of movement correlate well with worsening radiographic signs of arthritis, patient reported outcome measures do not correlate.