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, MD, PhD, 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.


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

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References

1. Siemieniuk RAC, Harris IA, Agoritsas T, et al. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee arthritis and meniscal tears: a clinical practice guidelineBMJ. 2017;357:j1982. doi:10.1136/bmj.j1982

2. Devji T, Guyatt GH, Lytvyn L, et al. Application of minimal important differences in degenerative knee disease outcomes: a systematic review and case study to inform BMJ rapid recommendations. BMJ. 2016;7(5). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015587

3. Brignardello-Petersen R, Guyatt GH, Buchbinder R, et al. Knee arthroscopy versus conservative management in patients with degenerative knee disease: a systematic review. BMJ. 2016;7(5). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016114