Vascularity in the human meniscus is poor beyond 1-2 mm from the meniscosynovial junction, yet 22% of the tears in this series occur with a greater than or equal to 3-mm peripheral white rim. It is possible to suture these tears with the wider peripheral white rims, but healing rates are reduced because it is more difficult to obtain a satisfactory vascular supply. This article describes the history of our efforts at obtaining blood supply for healing of meniscus tears with a peripheral white rim up to 5 mm. Resection of the peripheral white rim to the vascular bed was unsatisfactory because it reduced the size of the meniscus and, by 3 years, the subsequent degenerative changes in the knee were comparable to meniscectomy. Holes made in the rim with a biopsy needle were again unsuccessful at improving healing. The present technique involves using rasps to abrade the parameniscal synovium on both the superior and inferior surface of the peripheral white rim. None of the peripheral white rim is resected. In the first series of 240 patients in whom peripheral white rim resection or the biopsy punch was used, the failure rate of meniscus healing was 22%. In a subsequent series of 68 patients (52 males, 16 females) who had 81 meniscal repairs by means of the rasp for parameniscal synovial abrasion, the failure rate was 9%. The rasp appears to be the safest and most effective method to gain vascularity for healing of meniscus repairs. It is possible to obtain healing with 5-mm peripheral white rims without resection of any portion of this rim, thus maintaining the full size of the meniscus.

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