Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is no better than sham surgery for reducing knee symptoms in patients with degenerative meniscal tears, a New England Journal of Medicine study finds.
Some 150 adults in Finland with nontraumatic medial meniscal tears and no osteoarthritis were randomized to undergo partial meniscectomy or sham surgery during diagnostic arthroscopy.
At 12 months, both groups showed improvements in knee symptoms, pain, and quality-of-life, but there were no significant differences between the groups. In addition, the groups did not differ in the number of patients who required subsequent knee surgery.
The authors conclude: "These results argue against the current practice of performing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy in patients with a degenerative meniscal tear."
Source: NEJM article
Background: NEJM Journal Watch summary on arthroscopic surgery for knee osteoarthritis