Two hundred patients with a meniscal lesion were peroperatively allocated to partial or total meniscectomy in a random manner. The results were compared at one year and at 6.3 to 9.8 years (median 7.8). After one year more patients with partial meniscectomy (90%) than with total meniscectomy (80%) had no complaints. At the later review these figures were 62% and 52%, respectively (p = 0.18). However, patients with partial meniscectomy had higher functional scores. The deterioration in function between the first review and the second showed no significant difference in the two treatment groups. The incidence of mediolateral instability rose from 8% to 47% and was more frequent after total than after partial meniscectomy. Between the two reviews the radiological signs of knee degeneration increased with no difference between the two treatment groups.





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