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Meniscus repair failure risk does not differ by sex: a systematic review
  1. Christopher Hamilton,
  2. David C Flanigan,
  3. Kishan H Patel,
  4. Nathaniel Lundy,
  5. Ryan Blackwell,
  6. Robert A Magnussen
  1. Orthopaedics, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert A Magnussen, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; robert.magnussen{at}


Importance Meniscus tears are common knee pathologies that are frequently treated with meniscus repair with a variety of techniques. Regardless of technique and implant choice, it is critical to understand and consider patient factors, including patient sex, which can influence outcome.

Objective We sought to determine if there is an effect of sex on failure risk following meniscus repair.

Evidence review A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to identify studies that reported failure risk independently for male and female patients. Meta-analyses were performed to identify the effect of patient sex on meniscus repair failure risk. Differences in patient-reported outcomes by sex were reported qualitatively.

Findings A total of 886 patients analysed were included in the 11 identified studies, including 556 males and 330 females. Meniscus repair failure was reported in 192 patients (21.7%). The failure risk was 21.1% in males and 21.5% in females. Meta-analyses demonstrated no significant difference in meniscus repair failure risk based on sex in neither the three studies that assessed repair success arthroscopically (p=0.66) nor the eight studies in which failure was defined with clinical assessment or as the need for repeat surgery (p=0.92).

Conclusions and relevance There are no significant differences in meniscus repair failure risk in male versus female patients in the existing literature. More published data are needed to evaluate patient-reported outcomes of meniscus repair based on sex.

Level of evidence IV, systematic review.

  • knee
  • meniscus
  • arthroscopy
  • repair / reconstruction

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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. CH and RM drafted the initial version. CH, KHP, NL and RB performed the review of the literature. DF and RM revised the work for important intellectual content. All authors had final approve of the version published and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplementary information.

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