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Arthroscopy for Degenerative Knees Deemed Seldom Effective

Widely used procedure won't help arthritic degeneration, according to new recommendation

bandaged knee

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Arthroscopic surgery should rarely be used to treat degenerative knee disease, according to a Rapid Recommendations report published online May 10 in The BMJ.

Reed Siemieniuk, M.D., Ph.D., a health researcher with McMaster University in Toronto, and colleagues noted that a trial published in 2016 showed that knee arthroscopy was no better than exercise therapy in patients with a degenerative medial meniscus tear. The new rapid recommendation package includes a systematic review which adds this 2016 trial to the existing body of evidence, and a review of patients' preferences on knee disease.

The authors write that arthroscopic knee surgery does not typically result in an improvement in long-term pain or function for patients with degenerative knee disease. The recommendation is strongly against arthroscopy for nearly all cases of degenerative knee disease.

"This recommendation applies to patients with or without imaging evidence of osteoarthritis, mechanical symptoms, or sudden symptom onset," the authors write.

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