Report calls knee surgery for arthritis useless

According to a study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine reported on by the Washington Post, of 178 patients who had arthroscopic knee surgery to treat arthritis, none were any better off than their counterparts who opted for only medication and physical therapy. This is the second time that the effects of arthroscopic knee surgery has been doubted; in 2002 a study determined that the procedure was "no better than a sham procedure for arthritis."

Although the study in 2002 was based on the operations of one surgeon on older  than average patients (a typical patient would be about 60 years old), University of Western Ontario doctor Brian Feagan believes that this new study's results hold water. This age of most of the patients this time around was more on par with typical patients.

"I think we have definitive evidence that the procedure is ineffective," said Feagan, who was involved with the study. "If it isn't effective, patients should not be undergoing it. ...For garden-variety osteoarthritis of the knee, this isn't very effective surgery."

For more information:
- read the Washington Post article

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