Return to Sport Activity After Meniscal Allograft Transplantation: At What Level and at What Cost? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Alberto Grassi, James R Bailey, Giuseppe Filardo, Kristian Samuelsson, Stefano Zaffagnini, Annunziato Amendola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT:: Meniscal injuries are common among both sport- and non-sport-related injuries, with over 1.7 million meniscal surgeries performed worldwide every year. As meniscal surgeries become more common, so does meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT). However, little is known about the outcomes of MAT in active patients who desire to go back to preinjury activities.

OBJECTIVE:: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate return to sport, clinical outcome, and complications after MAT in sport-active patients.

DATA SOURCES:: A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL electronic databases was performed on February 25, 2018.

STUDY SELECTION:: Studies of level 1 through 4 evidence looking at MAT in physically active patients with reported return to activity outcomes and at least 2-year follow-up were included.

STUDY DESIGN:: Systematic review and meta-analysis.


DATA EXTRACTION:: Details of sport-related outcomes and reoperations were extracted and pooled in a meta-analysis.

RESULTS:: Nine studies were included in this systematic review. A majority (77%) of athletes and physically active patients were able to return to sport after MAT; two-thirds were able to perform at preinjury levels. Graft-related reoperations were reported in 13% of patients, while the joint replacement rate with partial or total knee prosthesis was 1.2%.

CONCLUSION:: Physical activity after MAT appears possible, especially for low-impact sports. However, because of the limited number of studies, their low quality, and the short-term follow-up, the participation recommendation for high-impact and strenuous activities should be considered with caution until high-quality evidence of long-term safety becomes available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalSports Health
Issue number2
Early online dateJan 14 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • allograft
  • meniscal transplant
  • meniscectomy
  • postmeniscectomy syndrome
  • return to play
  • sport


Dive into the research topics of 'Return to Sport Activity After Meniscal Allograft Transplantation: At What Level and at What Cost? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this