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  • Does Meniscal Surgery Increase Risk of OA?

    Surgery for meniscal tears may increase the risk of osteoarthritis and cartilage loss, according to results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) on December 3.

    According to an RSNA press release, the study examined magnetic resonance imaging of 355 knees that developed osteoarthritis in the past 5 years—31 knees that had meniscal surgery a year prior to the arthritis diagnosis, and 281 knees that had meniscal damage but no surgery. The study group was compared with a control group with no meniscal damage, matched for age, gender, BMI, and arthritic severity. Patients in the study were mostly overweight with an average age of 60.2. Two-thirds of the subjects were women.

    RSNA reports that "'all 31 of the knees that underwent meniscal surgery during the prior year developed osteoarthritis, compared with 165 (59%) of the knees with meniscal damage that didn't have surgery."

    Cartilage damage rates were even more dramatic. According to the announcement, cartilage loss was found in 80.8% of the knees with surgery, but was present in only 39.5% of the knees that did not undergo the procedure.

    "Increasing evidence is emerging that suggests meniscal surgery may be detrimental to the knee joint," said lead researcher Frank W. Roemer, MD, in the press release. "The indications for meniscal surgery might need to be discussed more carefully in order to avoid accelerated knee joint degeneration."

    The study was discussed at the RSNA conference but has not undergone peer review.

    Research-related stories featured in PT in Motion News are intended to highlight a topic of interest only and do not constitute an endorsement by APTA. For synthesized research and evidence-based practice information, visit the association's PTNow website.


    • That had to be long suspected since surgical shaving removes significant amount of cartilage which does not regenerate especially in older overweight and malnourished clients...

      Posted by Piotr Sroka on 12/7/2014 9:32 PM

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