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Contact Mechanics Of The Medial Tibial Plateau After Implantation Of A Medial Meniscal Allograft

Mohammad M. Alhalki, Maury L. Hull, Stephen M. Howell

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The goal of this study was to determine how well a medial meniscal allograft restores the normal contact mechanics of the medial tibial plateau at the time of implantation. We measured maximum pressure, mean pressure, and contact area of the intact human cadaveric knee, the knee after meniscectomy, the knee with the original meniscus removed and reimplanted as an autograft, and the knee with an allograft. Measurements were made using pressure-sensitive film in 10 specimens loaded in compression to 1000 N at 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45° of flexion. The autograft and the allograft were identically implanted by cementing bone plugs attached to the meniscal horns in anatomic transtibial tunnels and suturing the outer edge of the meniscus to the remnant of the original meniscus. A medial meniscal allograft did not consistently restore normal contact mechanics because the process of implantation and the degree of match between the original and allograft meniscus affected the immediate load-bearing performance of the transplant. However, the allograft did significantly reduce the contact pressure compared with the knee after meniscectomy. If the results from this study can be extrapolated to patients, then using an allograft to restore contact mechanics to normal may require improvements in surgical technique and graft selection.