Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knees — not so great?

By on January 5, 2016

The British Medical Journal (aka BMJ) has published a report from doctors who dug through all the studies available on whether or not knee surgery really helps middle aged or older patients with knee pain and degenerative knee disease (This is NOT about traumatic knee injury).

Their conclusions: The small inconsequential benefit seen from interventions that include arthroscopy for the degenerative knee is limited in time and absent at one to two years after surgery. Knee arthroscopy is associated with harms. Taken together, these findings do not support the practise of arthroscopic surgery for middle aged or older patients with knee pain with or without signs of osteoarthritis.

Of course, I’m just a layman, but my guess is that the physical therapy required after knee surgery is what helped these patients, and when they stopped doing the therapy and stopped moving around so much, their knee pain came back.

Source: Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee: systematic review and meta-analysis of benefits and harms

Dan

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