- Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy slightly increased the risk of knee osteoarthritis after five years compared to a placebo surgery.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) is a popular treatment for knee pain. Although several studies have shown that it is no more effective than placebo surgery in improving pain and function beyond the short term, it has been argued that it may provide benefit through preventing the later development of knee osteoarthritis (OA).
This randomized controlled trial assessed whether APM is more or less effective than placebo at preventing knee OA after five years. It also evaluated knee pain and function after five years.
Therapists should advise patients that there is no good evidence that APM provides benefit, and that it may even increase the risk of OA.
The study involved 146 people (average age = 52) from five public hospitals in Finland. The participants had knee pain and degenerative medial meniscus tears as verified by MRI and arthroscopy. They had no clinical signs of knee osteoarthritis.