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What you need to know
We make a strong recommendation against the use of arthroscopy in nearly all patients with degenerative knee disease, based on linked systematic reviews; further research is unlikely to alter this recommendation
This recommendation applies to patients with or without imaging evidence of osteoarthritis, mechanical symptoms, or sudden symptom onset
Healthcare administrators and funders may use the number of arthroscopies performed in patients with degenerative knee disease as an indicator of quality care.
Knee arthroscopy is the most common orthopaedic procedure in countries with available data
This Rapid Recommendation package was triggered by a randomised controlled trial published in The BMJ in June 2016 which found that, among patients with a degenerative medial meniscus tear, knee arthroscopy was no better than exercise therapy
What is the role of arthroscopic surgery in degenerative knee disease? An expert panel produced these recommendations based on a linked systematic review triggered by a randomised trial published in The BMJ in June 2016, which found that, among patients with a degenerative medial meniscus tear, knee arthroscopy was no better than exercise therapy. The panel make a strong recommendation against arthroscopy for degenerative knee disease.
Box 1 shows all of the articles and evidence linked in this Rapid Recommendation package. The infographic provides an overview of the absolute benefits and harms of arthroscopy in standard GRADE format. Table 1 below shows any evidence that has emerged since the publication of this article.
Linked articles in this BMJ Rapid Recommendations cluster
Siemieniuk RAC, Harris IA, Agoritsas T, et al. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee arthritis and meniscal tears: a clinical practice guideline. BMJ 2017;257:j1982. doi:10.1136/bmj.j1982
Summary of the results from the Rapid Recommendation process
Brignardello-Peterson R, Guyatt GH, Schandelmaier S, et al. Knee arthroscopy versus conservative management in patients with degenerative knee disease: a …
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