Race and Insurance Status Are Associated With Surgical Management of Isolated Meniscus Tears

William W. Schairer, Benedict U. Nwachukwu, Stephen Lyman, Answorth A. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to perform a population-level analysis to evaluate the effect of socioeconomic markers on the use of meniscus surgery in patients with meniscus tears. Methods: We queried all hospital-based clinic visits from 2011 to 2014 in the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database, which also contains all New York inpatient/outpatient visits. Patients with known prior knee surgery, meniscus tear before 2011, or other ligament injuries were excluded. The primary outcome was a meniscus procedure (meniscectomy or meniscus repair). Survival analysis was used to calculate the rate of meniscus surgery within 6 months. A multivariate model identified patient factors (age, sex, race, and payer) associated with surgical intervention. Results: There were 32,012 patients identified who met the inclusion criteria. The rate of meniscus procedure within 6 months of diagnosis was 49.6%. Meniscectomy was performed in 98.8% of cases compared with 1.2% for meniscus repair. Rates of meniscus procedures were higher in patients who were older, male, and white, as well as those first diagnosed by a surgeon. The highest rates of meniscus procedures were in those with private, worker's compensation, or other insurance types. Multivariable analysis showed that female sex, non-white race, and public or self-pay insurance were independently associated with lower rates of meniscus surgery. Conclusions: These results suggest both insurance-based and race-based disparities regarding surgical treatment. Additionally, the strongest variable for surgical management was a meniscus tear being first diagnosed by a surgeon. Level of Evidence: Level of Evidence IV, retrospective case-control study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2677-2682
Number of pages6
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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