Alternatives to Knee Surgery
Believe it or not, it’s now a researched based fact, that is showin a broad scientific consensus that meniscectomy, commonly referred to by surgeons as a ‘clean-up’ surgery’, is next to useless and risky for most patients. (1)
It produces results no better than a fake surgery,(2) or exercise therapy.(3)The risks of things going sideways are greater for those who need more repair, have been in pain longer, and have more arthritis going in.
Although ‘cleaning-up’ the joint sounds like common sense that isn’t exactly what happens during most knee arthroscopic procedures.
In fact, the British Medical Journal “makes a strong recommendation against the use of arthroscopy in nearly all patients with degenerative knee disease … ” regardless of “imaging evidence of osteoarthritis, mechanical symptoms, or sudden symptom onset.”
That means if you have an significant arthritis you should re-think getting knee surgery, as studies have piled up showing that it does no better than not getting surgery and at worse it can accelerate the osteoarthritic process.
"As appealing as arthroscopy might be, patients shouldn't waste their time or their money," says lead researcher J. Bruce Moseley, MD, tells WebMD. Popular Knee Surgery May Be Useless (webmd.com) "There are going to be surgeons out there who will continue to do it, because they will rationalize that the study isn't applicable to their patient population. But I would hope that most surgeons would not do it anymore."
Treatment Alternatives to Knee Surgery
The treatments that have been shown to be most effective for chronic knee pain are:
1. Prolozone: Prolozone for knee pain and arthritis is safe, effective and affordable.
You can learn more about ozone treatments here.
Here's a study form Web MD that summarizes the research showing that knee surgery may be close to useless.
Knee Surgery Sure is Useless! (painscience.com)
(1) Thorlund JB, Juhl CB, Roos EM, Lohmander LS. Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee: systematic review and meta-analysis of benefits and harms. BMJ. 2015;350:h2747. PubMed #26080045 ❐ PainSci #53297 ❐ A review of nine studies as of 2015 presenting strong collective evidence that meniscectomy is a futile surgery for most patients.
(2) Sihvonen R, Paavola M, Malmivaara A, et al. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy versus sham surgery for a degenerative meniscal tear. N Engl J Med. 2013 Dec;369(26):2515–24. PubMed #24369076 ❐ “In this trial involving patients without knee osteoarthritis but with symptoms of a degenerative medial meniscus tear, the outcomes after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy were no better than those after a sham surgical procedure.”
(3) Kise NJ, Risberg MA, Stensrud S, et al. Exercise therapy versus arthroscopic partial meniscectomy for degenerative meniscal tear in middle aged patients: randomised controlled trial with two year follow-up. BMJ. 2016;354:i3740. PubMed #27440192 ❐ PainSci #53299 ❐ This large trial compared exercise to surgical cleanup of the menisci and found “no clinically relevant difference was found between the two groups … at two years.” They didn’t include patients with locked knees, trauma, and most had no osteoarthritis.