Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is a procedure used to treat as many as 300 in 100,000 US patients annually.
While a heavily relied upon intervention, knee arthroscopy has been associated with short-lived and sometimes inconsequential benefit but additional harms. In fact, only 1 in 5 previously conducted randomized controlled trials found that partial meniscectomy resulted in greater pain relief compared with non-surgical treatment one year post surgery.
Now, new research out of Norway is positing that exercise therapy and knee arthroscopy may be similarly effective for pain relief and other patient-reported outcomes in a younger, more active population with a lower body mass index than previously studied. The results indicate that clinicians and middle-aged patients with meniscal tear and no definitive radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis should consider exercise therapy as a viable treatment option.