New research in the British Medical Journal compared a group of patients with torn knee meniscus (cartilage) who had an operation to repair the tear with another group who did a 12 week course of exercises to strengthen muscles around the knee.
They found that pain reduced in the group who did not undergo the operation and the researchers found that there was no ‘clinically relevant difference’ between the two groups. So why undergo surgery for no good reason? Some surgeons have called for keyhole surgery to be scrapped for middle aged patients, asking why take the risk that surgery entails when the rewards are of little benefit.
140 patients took part and were checked after 3 months and two years. At 3 months those who were exercising only were doing better than the post operative group and at 2 years there was little difference between them. They were assessed for pain, mobility and the ability to do sport.
Therefore our advice to you is that if you develop knee pain in middle age and it is found to be as a result of a cartilage (meniscus) tear in the knee then let us show you some exercises and do them regularly. The benefits will be long lasting and keep you active without the need to go to hospital. It is always worth coming in to see us so that we can give you a diagnosis. Treatment and exercise are so often better or as good as surgery without the pain!
Call us to discuss treatment options today!