Biomechanical Comparison of Arthroscopic Repair Constructs for Radial Tears of the Meniscus

Eric A. Branch, Charles Milchteim, Bradley S. Aspey, Wei Liu, Justin D. Saliman, Adam W. Anz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Radial tears of the meniscus represent a challenging clinical scenario because benign neglect and partial meniscectomy have both been shown to have negative biomechanical and long-term clinical consequences. Hypothesis: Complex suture repair constructs have higher failure loads and stiffness values compared with simple constructs. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: After radial transection of human cadaveric menisci, simulated tears were repaired arthroscopically by use of 1 of 4 repair constructs: (1) 2 inside-out horizontal sutures, (2) 2 all-inside horizontal sutures, (3) an all-inside Mason-Allen construct consisting of 4 sutures, or (4) an all-inside construct consisting of a figure-of-8 suture plus 1 horizontal suture. Meniscus specimens were harvested and tested to failure on an Instron machine. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to evaluate for significance of maximal failure load and stiffness between groups. Results: The mean maximum failure loads were 64 ± 20 N (inside-out horizontal construct), 75 ± 16 N (all-inside horizontal construct), 86 ± 19 N (Mason-Allen construct), and 113 ± 22 N (figure-of-8 plus horizontal construct). Interconstruct comparison revealed a statistically significant difference between the figure-of-8 plus horizontal construct and all 3 remaining constructs (P <.02) as well as the Mason-Allen construct when compared with the inside-out horizontal construct (P <.01). Statistical significance was not found between the all-inside horizontal construct and the Mason-Allen construct or between the all-inside horizontal construct and the inside-out horizontal construct (P =.2 and.7, respectively). Stiffness values were lower for the inside-out construct compared with the all-inside constructs (P <.05). Conclusion: Complex all-inside repair constructs had significantly higher failure loads than a conventional, simple inside-out suture repair construct for repair of radial meniscal tears. Stiffness values among the all-inside groups were greater than those for the inside-out group. Clinical Relevance: Arthroscopic techniques are presented to produce stronger radial meniscal tear repairs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2270-2276
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • failure load
  • meniscus
  • radial tear
  • repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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