Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Does Not Bring Expected Benefits
Arthroscopic knee surgery is said to be a very commonly carried out operation. However, it may not bring the desired benefits as far as osteoarthritis and arthritis-related physical disability are concerned, as highlighted in the following article.
If more studies were carried out on different types of surgical procedures, I am certain that there will be many more which show up as failing to bring expected or promised benefits. Generally speaking, surgeries are hugely overdone in modern medicine today, in particular those used to fix chronic and degenerative health conditions.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Fails to Bring Desired Benefits
by Reuben Chow
When we are told by our medical doctors that we need surgery, many of us would assume that the procedure would fix the health problem which we have – that is only natural. And that is all the more so when a particular surgical procedure is a very common one. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. And recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that arthroscopic knee surgery, which is the most commonly performed orthopedic surgery in the United States, may not bring any desired benefits.
Arthritis in the knees
The knee joint is said to be one of the most complex joints in the human body. Its ligaments and cartilage get worn out by normal physical activities as the years go by, and are also easily injured and torn. In addition, the knee is especially prone to osteoarthritis.
Arthritis often comes with stiffness, swelling and pain, and people with arthritis of the knee cope with the condition using various ways. They move away from vigorous activities toward gentler ones, undergo physical therapy, use knee braces, apply heat or cold, and sometimes take anti-inflammatory drugs.
Then there is arthroscopic surgery. For this procedure, small incisions are made and, through them, instruments and a video camera are placed into the joint. This method allows the surgeon to have a direct view of the internal structures of the joint, including the cartilage and ligaments. Cartilage which is torn or eroded can be repaired, while pieces of degenerated cartilage which are loose within the joint can be drained away.
Studies indicating that arthroscopic knee surgery may not have benefits
As mentioned earlier, arthroscopic surgery is the most common orthopedic operation in the US today. For it to be so frequently carried out, it must surely bring considerable relief to its subjects. Apparently not, according to new studies highlighted in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Firstly, a clinical study carried out in Ontario, Canada, compared the relief of symptoms of 84 persons who received both arthroscopic surgery and maximal medical treatment against another 86 persons who only received the latter, two years after treatment – both groups of patients suffered from moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
Using osteoarthritis and physical disability scoring tools which had been previously validated, the study team found that the performance of arthroscopic surgery did not result in any measurable improvement in the patients’ symptoms of osteoarthritis nor arthritis-related physical disability.
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