It’s already known that a torn meniscus surgery as a result of wear and tear is hardly ever beneficial and a study has now found that there aren’t any smaller groups of individuals who benefit from this operation.
According to the researchers, this surgery shouldn’t be undertaken anymore, but the focus should instead be on prevention, in combination with a personal approach focused on physiotherapy.
For middle-aged or older individuals having a torn meniscus without acute knee trauma history, surgery is hardly ever useful. A lot of research has already found that arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus isn’t any better compared to physiotherapy or sham surgery, in which only an incision is made in the knee.
Meniscus tears also often happen in individuals without complaints and are generally not the reason for pain. Nevertheless, a torn meniscus is still operated on by a lot of orthopedic surgeons. The researchers wanted to determine if there are smaller groups of individuals who should be operated on.
Data were collected from 4 meniscus surgery studies, providing data from 605 individuals in total. The raw data was reanalyzed in a larger context. Subgroups were looked for whom surgery might be useful determined by 13 factors, such as knee function, location of the tear, gender, BMI, and age.
No subgroup was found, even when artificial intelligence was used for analyzing the data. Not a single subgroup scored better with regard to knee function, knee pain, or mental well-being.
This study shows that there are no smaller groups of individuals who should be operated on. According to the researchers, meniscus surgery should hardly ever be performed. Only in the event of exceptional cases, like a locked knee or when it isn’t any longer possible to stretch the knee.
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