Article

Arthroscopic meniscectomy: Does it make sense in patients older than 45?

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Abstract

Meniscus surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in orthopaedics. Almost two-thirds of the patients are over 45 years old. It is not known, however, whether a torn meniscus in older patients is the primary cause of knee pain, or whether the pain is caused by an ongoing degenerative process. Until 2013, there were hardly any studies comparing the efficacy of meniscus surgery with that of a non-surgical approach in this group of patients. This has recently changed with the publication of two randomized controlled studies comparing arthroscopic meniscectomy with conservative therapy. The studies showed that meniscectomy had no added value to physical therapy. This commentary briefly discusses these studies and discloses the lack of current knowledge on the aspect of cost-effectiveness of these treatments.

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... The issue of the cost of these two supported had already been discussed in a test of Van de graaf, et al. [12]. ...
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... Additionally, economic evaluation is required to assess direct and indirect costs associated with arthroscopic meniscal débridement in comparison with various options for non operative treatment. 59 Future investigation into the impact of cartilage status, mechanical alignment, extent of meniscal damage, duration, severity and characteristics of symptoms, body mass index and baseline functional outcome scores may allow clinicians to fur-ther determine who may benefit from arthroscopy in this population. Comparison of various rehabilitation protocols, adjunct modalities and injections will further define optimal initial nonoperative management. ...
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A torn meniscus is one of the most common indications for knee surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of the Lysholm knee score and the Tegner activity scale when used for patients with a meniscal injury of the knee. Test-retest reliability, content validity, criterion validity, construct validity, and responsiveness to change were determined for the Lysholm score and the Tegner activity scale. Test-retest reliability was measured in a group of 122 patients at least two years after they had undergone surgery for a meniscal lesion. This group completed a follow-up form and then completed it again within four weeks. The other tests were performed in a group of 191 patients who had only a meniscal lesion at the time of the surgery and a group of 477 patients who had a meniscal lesion and other intra-articular lesions. The overall Lysholm score showed acceptable test-retest reliability, floor and ceiling effects, criterion validity, construct validity, and responsiveness to change. There were unacceptable ceiling effects (>30%) for the Lysholm domains of limp, instability, support, and locking. The Tegner activity scale showed acceptable test-retest reliability, floor and ceiling effects, criterion validity, construct validity, and responsiveness to change. Overall, the Lysholm knee score and the Tegner activity scale demonstrated acceptable psychometric performances as outcome measures for patients with a meniscal injury of the knee. Some domains of the Lysholm score showed suboptimal performance, and the Tegner scale had only a moderate effect size. Psychometric testing of other condition-specific knee instruments for patients with a meniscal lesion of the knee would be helpful to allow comparison of the properties of the various knee instruments.
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