Synthetic Meniscus Implant Eases Lingering Pain After Partial Meniscectomy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A synthetic meniscus implant provides better relief of lingering pain following arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) than non-surgical care alone, according to data from two clinical trials.

Knee pain after APM is the result of “overloading of the compartment without the presence of the meniscus acting as a shock absorber,” Dr. Wayne Gersoff of Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists, in Parker, Colorado, told Reuters Health by email.

“The unfortunate consequence, besides pain and functional limitations, is that the articular cartilage gradually wears down leading to an arthritic joint. Previously there was nothing in between having a meniscectomy and waiting till the joint deteriorated enough to have a partial knee replacement. The device that we studied fills a treatment gap for these patients,” said Dr. Gersoff.

He reported the research during the virtual American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) – Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) Combined 2021 annual meeting.

The findings stem from pooled data on 242 adults participating in two U.S. clinical trials – the VENUS ( randomized controlled superiority trial comparing the medial meniscus implant with non-surgical care (control) and the single-arm, implant-only SUN trial (

Both trials used the NUsurface meniscus implant from Active Implants, which funded the trials.

Trial participants had persistent knee pain and one or more previous partial meniscectomies at least six months before enrollment. Patient-reported knee pain, function, and quality of life were assessed using the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) at various time point up to two years following treatment.

Patients who received the implant reported a 63.4% higher KOOS score than the control group, which reported a KOOS score of 27.9%.

“The magnitude of improvement from baseline to two years was significantly greater in the implant group compared to control for five of six KOOS subscales, including the primary outcomes of KOOS Overall and KOOS Pain,” Dr. Gersoff and colleagues report in their conference abstract.

Additionally, more patients in the control group opted to stop treatment (17.3%) compared to the implant group (10.5%), although the difference was not statistically significant.

“The Active Implants device is designed to take the place of the meniscus that has been removed and act as a new shock absorber. The result is an improvement in symptoms and functions as well as the preservation of the knee joint,” Dr. Gersoff told Reuters Health.

Dr. Gersoff is a paid consultant for Active Implants.

SOURCE: American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine – Arthroscopy Association of North America Combined 2021 annual meeting, held July 7-11, 2021.

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