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Arthroscopic surgery for knee pain

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Study question

Is exercise therapy superior to arthroscopic surgery for knee function in middle aged patients with degenerative meniscal tears verified by magnetic resonance imaging?

Methods

Middle aged patients (mean age 49.5 years, range 35.7-59.9) with degenerative meniscal tears were randomly allocated to treatment with exercise therapy alone or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy alone. The two primary endpoints were patient reported knee function at two years and thigh muscle strength at three months. The primary patient reported endpoint was change in KOOS4 (knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score), defined as the average score for four of the five KOOS subscale scores covering pain, other symptoms, function in sport and recreation, and knee related quality of life from baseline to two years. The muscle strength outcomes were peak torque and total work for both knee extension and knee flexion at 60 degrees per second.

Study answer and limitations

No clinically relevant difference was found between the two groups in …

Correspondence to Teppo L N Järvinen, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; teppo.jarvinen{at}helsinki.fi

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