08 Feb Is the Benefit of Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery a Placebo Effect?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jonas Bloch Thorlund
Associate Professor (MSc, PhD)
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy
University of Southern Denmark
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is a very common knee surgery. Research evidence has seriously questioned the effect of this type of surgery for degenerative meniscal tears in middle-aged and older patients. Most young patients with traumatic meniscal injury (from sports or similar) also undergo this type of surgery. There is a general understanding that young patients with traumatic tears experience larger improvements in patient reported pain, function and quality of life. However, evidence for this presumption is sparse.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found a statistically significant larger improvement in patients with degenerative compared with traumatic tears from before to 1 year after surgery. This difference was small and not considered clinically meaningful.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The results from our study question the current tenet that patients with traumatic tears experience larger improvements in patient reported pain, function and quality of life after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy compared to older patients with degenerative meniscal tears
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Given the large documented placebo effect of arthroscopic partial meniscectomy for middle-aged and older patients with degenerative tears, we believe these results high-light the need for randomised trials comparing meniscal surgery for younger patients with traumatic tears to non-surgical treatment.
No disclosures to report.
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Thorlund Jonas Bloch, Englund Martin, ChristensenRobin, Nissen Nis, Pihl Kenneth, Jørgensen Uffe et al. Patient reported outcomes in patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy for traumatic or degenerative meniscal tears: comparative prospective cohort study BMJ 2017;356 :j356
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Last Updated on February 8, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD