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The American Journal of Sports Medicine
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 38  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 740 - 748

Implantation of Autogenous Meniscal Fragments Wrapped With a Fascia Sheath Enhances Fibrocartilage Regeneration In Vivo in a Large Harvest Site Defect

Y Kobayashi, K Yasuda, E Kondo, T Katsura, Y Tanabe, M Kimura and H. Tohyama    

Abstract: Background

Concerning meniscal tissue regeneration, many investigators have studied the development of a tissue-engineered meniscus. However, the utility still remains unknown.


Implantation of autogenous meniscal fragments wrapped with a fascia sheath into the donor site meniscal defect may significantly enhance fibrocartilage regeneration in vivo in the defect.

Study Design

Controlled laboratory study.


Seventy-five mature rabbits were used in this study. In each animal, an anterior one-third of the right medial meniscus was resected. Then, the animals were divided into the following 3 groups of 25 rabbits each: In group 1, no treatment was applied to the meniscal defect. In group 2, the defect was covered with a fascia sheath. In group 3, after the resected meniscus was fragmented into small pieces, the fragments were grafted into the defect. Then, the defect with the meniscal fragments was covered with a fascia sheath. In each group, 5 rabbits were used for histological evaluation at 3, 6, and 12 weeks after surgery, and 5 rabbits were used for biomechanical evaluation at 6 and 12 weeks after surgery.


Histologically, large round cells in group 3 were scattered in the core portion of the meniscus-shaped tissue, and the matrix around these cells was positively stained by safranin O and toluisin blue at 12 weeks. The histological score of group 3 was significantly higher than that of group 1 and group 2. Biomechanically, the maximal load and stiffness of group 3 were significantly greater than those of groups 1 and 2.


This study clearly demonstrated that implantation of autogenous meniscal fragments wrapped with a fascia sheath into the donor site meniscal defect significantly enhanced fibrocartilage regeneration in vivo in the defect at 12 weeks after implantation in the rabbit.

Clinical relevance

This study proposed a novel strategy to treat a large defect after a meniscectomy.

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