Association of Medial Meniscus Root Tears and Nonroot Tears With Worsening of Radiographic Knee Osteoarthritis

Caitlin C. Chambers, John A. Lynch, Brian T. Feeley, Michael C. Nevitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Medial meniscus root tears (RTs) are associated with the development and worsening of knee osteoarthritis (OA), but little is known about their progression when compared with meniscal tears that spare the root (nonroot tears; NRTs). Purpose: To compare radiographic worsening of OA in knees with RTs versus NRTs and to identify factors associated with radiographic worsening of OA in knees with RTs. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Using the Osteoarthritis Initiative database, we included knees with medial meniscus RTs and NRTs present at the baseline visit (baseline tears) and new RTs and NRTs observed at 12- to 48-month annual follow-up visits (incident tears). Worsening of radiographic OA was defined for baseline tears as an increase in Kellgren-Lawrence grade (KLG) during the subsequent 12 months of follow-up; for incident tears, worsening was defined as either concurrent (increase in KLG over the 12 months preceding tear appearance on magnetic resonance imaging) or subsequent (increase in KLG during the 12 months after tear appearance). Odds ratios (ORs), adjusted for covariates, were calculated for the association of worsening by type of tear. Results: Included were 39 knees with baseline RTs, 633 knees with baseline NRTs, 33 knees with incident RTs, and 234 knees with incident NRTs. Radiographic OA worsening subsequent to meniscal tear identification was no different for baseline RTs (15%) or baseline NRTs (14%; adjusted OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.52-3.47), nor did subsequent worsening differ for incident RTs (19%) versus incident NRTs (18%; adjusted OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.15-1.83). Concurrent radiographic OA worsening was seen at a significantly higher rate for incident RTs (64%) versus incident NRTs (21%; adjusted OR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.21-7.47). Incident RTs in knees without radiographic OA (KLG 0-1) before the tear had a high rate of worsening (94%, n = 16) and were more likely to worsen than those in knees with radiographic OA (KLG ≥2) present before the tear. Conclusion: Compared with NRTs, incident RTs were associated with a significantly increased risk of worsening radiographic OA over a 12-month period concurrent with the appearance of the tear. Incident RTs in knees without radiographic OA at baseline had a high rate of worsening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • knee osteoarthritis
  • medial meniscal tear
  • meniscus root
  • meniscus root tear

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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