Advancing Meniscus Research Worldwide

About the Section

The section was launched in November 2015 by the section organizers and the ORS. The section serves to highlight the significant interest on the meniscus by providing meeting and online venues for presentation and discussion of the latest research.

Our mission is to represent the voice of meniscus research and sciences within the ORS community and beyond, and advance meniscus research and related sciences to improve patient care through basic, translational and clinical research.

ORS Meniscus Research Section

While more than 700,000 meniscal surgeries are performed each year in the US alone, most involving a partial meniscectomy, meniscus-focused research has been under-represented. A concerted and collaborative effort focused on meniscal research is critical in order to make needed progress in this important area in patient healthcare. Menisci are extremely important for the integrity of the knee joint. As a fibrocartilage tissue, the meniscus provides for complex mechanical function during joint motion, including tensile stability, shock absorption, and lubrication.

Meniscus injury is also one of the most common causes of post-traumatic osteoarthritis, the prevalent form of osteoarthritis among the young population. Partial meniscectomy is currently a common treatment to injured menisci. However, it has been shown that partial meniscectomy, which is the most frequent surgical intervention in the knee joint, can lead to early osteoarthritis. Hence, much effort has been made to preserve the meniscus by specific surgical procedures. Yet, there is still need for removal of destroyed meniscal tissue. Therefore, new strategies to replace the meniscus have been developed using allografts, regenerative techniques and permanent implants. However, there is still no evidence of an effective replacement method that protects the adjacent articular surfaces over the long-term.

Our basic understanding of meniscus biology, structure, mechanics and its interaction with articular cartilage is very limited. As a consequence, there is still a need for more intense research pushing the field forward. Further, meniscus research is of major importance for the whole field of orthopaedic research as it also touches other areas like osteoarthritis, joint replacement, and joint mechanics. Improved diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic methods for meniscal disorders can have significant impact towards improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.

The most important research topics/questions:

  1. Basic understanding of meniscus function in terms of composition, structure, mechanics and biology (in-vitro, in-vivo, ex-vivo, in-silico modelling)
  2. Meniscus repair (sutures, repair implants, growth factors etc.)
  3. Meniscus replacement (permanent vs. regenerative, TE, allograft), requirements for replacements devices, regulatory issues
  4. Natural history of various meniscal pathologies
  5. Improved diagnostic modalities for meniscal pathology (MRI, ultrasound, biomarkers)
  6. Long term outcomes after different treatments