Does practice of meniscus surgery change over time? A report of the 2021 'THE MENISCUS' Webinar.
PURPOSE: The aim of this paper was to report the results presented in the session "Does practice of meniscus surgery change over time?" of the 2021 MENISCUS webinar held online on January 30(th) 2021. METHOD: During the 2021 MENISCUS webinar, an evaluation of meniscus surgery practices was performed by analyzing: (1) The presentation of the results of a survey conducted among ESSKA members and assessing their current practices in the field of meniscus surgery, (2) Four reports by national experts analyzing the trends in Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy (APM) and meniscus repair procedures in their respective countries (France, Belgium, Germany and Japan). RESULTS: (1) ESSKA Survey: Among the 461 respondents, 75% of surgeons claimed to perform more meniscus repairs and 85% less APM than 5 years ago. In ACL-associated meniscus injuries, a majority of surgeons (60%) indicated to perform a meniscal resection in less than 25% of cases. 25% declared to perform meniscus repair in ACL-associated meniscus injuries in less than 25% of cases and 37% in more than 50% of cases. Half of the respondents repair medial or lateral root tears in less than 25% of cases. Less than 20% of respondents were not familiar with the ESSKA consensus. (2) National trends: In France, between 2005 and 2017, the APM rate decreased by 21.4%, while the repair rate increased by 320%. In Belgium, between 2007 and 2017, the APM rate decreased by 28.6%. In Germany, between 2010 and 2017 the number of APM decreased by 30%, while the number of repair procedures increased by 55%. Finally, in Japan, between 2011 and 2016, the APM ratio (APM/meniscus procedures) decreased by 16% from 91 to 75% while the repair ratio increased from 9 to 25%. CONCLUSION: The 2021 ESSKA members' survey as well as statistics from 4 specifically examined countries (Belgium, France, Germany and Japan) suggest there has been a significant shift over the last years in the surgical management of meniscal lesions towards less APM and more conservative treatments.