From February 1982 through July 1987, the author studied 87 patients who had a total of 116 meniscus tears, 96 of which were repaired. Seventy patients (79 meniscus repairs) had postoperative followup ranging from 12 months to 5 1/2 years (mean, 39 months). The patients' ages ranged from 14 to 51 years with a mean age of 22. The time from injury to surgery ranged from 1 week to 6 years. Twenty-five percent of the injuries were considered acute, i.e., less than 6 weeks after the injury, and 75% of the injuries were considered chronic. Nineteen patients (27%) had isolated meniscus injuries. All meniscus repairs were done arthroscopically, using an inside-outside technique. Ligament stabilizing procedures were done on all patients who had ACL deficient knees. Forty-seven patients (67%) had postoperative documentation including either an arthroscopic examination or an arthrogram done an average of 5 to 6 months after surgery. There was one case of peroneal nerve palsy from which the patient made a complete recovery in 6 months. There was one case of infection/thrombophlebitis. One patient had paresthesia and numbness along the medial aspect of the left leg corresponding to a saphenous nerve injury. The aim of this investigation was two-fold, consisting of determining if an arthroscopic technique could be used successfully to repair acute as well as chronic vertical tears involving the meniscus, and also, evaluating the relationship between ACL stability and meniscus healing. The overall success rate of retained menisci following repair was 91%. The time from injury to repair did not affect meniscus healing. Associated stabilization of ACL deficiencies is imperative in patients undergoing meniscus repair.

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