Knee surgery not needed for mild osteoarthritis

Middle-aged and older patients with mild osteoarthritis of the knee may not benefit from the procedure of arthroscopic knee surgery, says new research.

New York: Middle-aged and older patients with mild osteoarthritis of the knee may not benefit from the procedure of arthroscopic knee surgery, says new research.

Each year more than four million keyhole surgeries are performed worldwide for degenerative meniscus tears in the knee.

The surgical procedure involves making a small incision to remove the torn fragments from the damaged meniscus.

"Doctors need to be carefully weighing the costs and benefits when deciding who should undergo such surgery," explained Moin Khan, lead author from Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Ontario.

The study shows that surgery should not be the initial option for middle-aged or older patients as there is limited evidence supporting partial meniscectomy surgery for meniscus tears.

Other treatments should be used first, Khan added.

The researchers studied 805 patients who had undergone the surgery and saw no short-term pain relief, nor was there improvement in long-term function up to two years later.

The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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