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Dr. Ann Gathers

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

224 Brehm Hall



Meniscal Allograft Research


The knee joint, the point of articulation between the tibia, fibula, and the femur, is one of the most used joints in the human body and, consequently, one of the most frequently damaged.  The knee is critical in weight-bearing and locomotion.  Due to its function, the knee contains two semi-lunar shaped pads of fibrocartilage – the lateral and medial menisci.  The functions of the menisci are the distribution of load, shock absorption, joint nutrition, and joint stability.  Meniscal injuries may lead to joint instability, early joint degeneration (osteoarthritis), and, ultimately, irreversible joint damage. 


meniscal pictures



Meniscal allograft transplantation is a relatively recent surgical procedure (considered investigative in 1997) used to treat irreparable tears.  The procedure involves grafting a cadaver/donor meniscus into the patient’s knee.  The goal of replacing an irreparable meniscus is to restore knee function and to prevent joint degeneration.  


Using a three-part survey format -- physician survey, physical therapist survey, and patient survey (on-line surveys) -- this study investigates two key questions:

1.) What are the best surgical and rehab treatment protocols for meniscal transplants?

2.) How successful are meniscal transplants based on rate of recovery, reduction of pain, and restoration of function?


Surveys take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Physicians and physical therapists complete a survey on their most recently discharged meniscal allograft patient. Patients, physicians, and therapists may choose three methods of participation: 1.) complete the on-line survey at, 2.) download and complete the survey on this site and mail it to the address below, or 3.) request a survey mailing with postage paid for easy



For more information, please contact:


Dr. Ann Gathers

UT Martin Assistant Professor of Biology




Irragang et al.(1998). Development of a patient-reported measure of function of the knee. J. Bone Joint Surg.


Laufer et al., (2001). Quadriceps femoris muscle torques and fatigue generated by neuromuscular electrical   stimulation with three different waveforms. Physical Therapy.


Tegner & Lysholm, (1985). Rating systems in the evaluation of knee ligament injuries. Clinical Orthopaedices and Related Research.


Rath and Richmond, (2007), The Menisci:  basic science and advances in treatment. Br. J. Sports Med.


Khon,D. et al, (1999). Postoperative follow-up and rehabilitation after meniscus replacement. Scand J Med Sci Sports.


Kelly et al., (2006).Meniscal allograft transplantation in the sheep knee:  evaluation of chondroprotective effects. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Med.


Loudon et al, (2002). Intrarater reliability of functional performance tests for subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Journal of Athletic Training.


Anderson et al., (2006). The international knee documentation committee subjective knee evaluation form: normative data. The Am. Journal of Sports Med.


Verdonk et al., (2006).Meniscal allograft transplantation:  long-term clinical results with radiological and magnetic resonance imaging correlations. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc.


Goble, Kohn, Verdonk, & Kane, (1999). Meniscal substitutes – human experience. Scand J Med Sci Sports.


Szomor et al., (2000). The protective effects of meniscal transplantation on cartilage. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.


Jenkins et al., (1976). Muscle strength before and after menisectomy:  A comparison of methods of post- operative management. Rheumatology and Rehabilitation.


Verdonk et al, (2005). Transplantation of viable meniscal allograft:  survivorship analysis and clinical outcome of one hundred cases. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Am).


Garratt et al, (2004). Patient-assessed health instruments for the knee:  a structured review. Rheumatology.


Undergraduate Research Students


UT Martin Tri-Beta Poster Winner Spring 2007