Articular cartilage injury can occur after meniscal repair with biodegradable implants. Previous contact pressure analyses of the knee have been based on the tibial side of the meniscus at limited knee flexion angles. We investigated articular contact pressures on the posterior femoral condyle with different knee flexion angles and surgical repair techniques. Medial meniscus tears were repaired in 30 fresh bovine knees. Knees were mounted on a 6-degrees-of-freedom jig and statically loaded to 200 N at 45°, 70°, 90°, and 110° of knee flexion under 3 conditions: intact meniscus, torn meniscus, and meniscus after repair. For each repair, 3 sutures or biodegradable implants were used. A pressure sensor was used to determine the contact area and peak pressure. Peak pressures over each implant position were measured. Peak pressure increased significantly as knee flexion increased in normal, injured, and repaired knees. The change in peak pressure in knees with implant repairs was significantly higher than suture repairs at all knee flexion angles. Articular contact pressure on the posterior femoral condyle increased with knee flexion. Avoidance of deep knee flexion angles postoperatively may limit increases in articular contact pressures and potential chondral injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine