April 2013

Some athletes take years to come back from meniscal allograft transplantation

In the moment: Knee

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Meniscal allograft transplantation can help high-level athletes return to sports—but it might take a while, according to research from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago presented in March at the AAOS meeting.

Investigators retrospectively analyzed 14 athletes who had undergone the procedure. Three were high school athletes, nine were college athletes, and one was a professional baseball player.

Two years after surgery, 62% of the athletes had attempted to return to sports, but none had returned to their preinjury level. All had pain and swelling during sports, and 54% had pain and swelling during activities of daily living.

Thirteen athletes were available for a final follow up an average of 3.3 years postsurgery. At that time, 77% had returned to play, and 70% were playing at what they said was their desired level.

“We originally aimed for a four-month return to sports, but found that it really took a lot longer,” said Peter N. Chalmers, MD, a resident in the department of orthopedic surgery at Rush, who presented his group’s findings at the AAOS meeting.


Chalmers PN, Karas V, Sherman S, Cole BJ. Return to high-level sport following meniscal allograft transplantation. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Chicago, March 2013.

One Response to Some athletes take years to come back from meniscal allograft transplantation

  1. Weston says:

    I’m a 16 year old male and I play lacrosse at a high level, and I have had a complex lateral meniscus repair followed with a partial meniscectomy 3 months after. We are still experiencing problems and I have worn an unloaded brace for about a month now and nothing is different. My doctor is suggesting a biocartilage paste to be put in, similar to an articular cartilage graft, but I’ve been having troubles finding much information on it, I find a lot about donor transplants but I have found close to nothing about a paste graft for the meniscus. I was wondering if it is a good idea, or if there are any other ideas out there.

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