Study Says Hold The Meniscus Surgery
Question one: what is the most common orthopedic surgery in the United States? If you answered “meniscus repair,” you are correct. Question two: does it work? If you answered “no better than no surgery at all” you are also correct. The New York Times reports on a Finnish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found that the popular surgery, done about 700,000 times a year, worked no better than a fake operation. The Times reports that the study, which involved 146 patients ages 35 to 65 with wear-induced tears and knee pain, does not show that surgery never helps; it suggests that it is useful for younger patients and for tears from acute sports injuries, but less effective for the 80 percent of tears that develop from wear and aging. The Times reports that the volunteer patients in the Finnish study all received anesthesia and incisions, but some received actual surgery, others simulated procedures. One year later, most patients in both groups said their knees felt better, and the vast majority said they would choose the same method again, even if it was fake. Read more in the New York Times.