This classic discusses the original 1977 publication of ‘Partial or total meniscectomy: a comparative analysis’, which was the first to critically evaluate the outcomes of a total meniscectomy versus partial meniscectomy. It found that partial meniscectomy led to shorter hospital stays, a quicker recovery and, at an average of 5.5 years postoperatively, a better functional outcome and less radiographic joint space narrowing. This article, combined with other confirmatory studies, had international clinical significance as open total meniscectomies were replaced by open partial meniscectomies, and eventually arthroscopic partial meniscectomies, which became the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedure for much of the ensuing decades.
Contributors All authors have contributed to the conception, writing and editing of this manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.