FIDELITY project compares surgical treatment of degenerative meniscal tears to placebo surgery

Published on December 27, 2013 at 5:25 AM · No Comments

 A year after the surgery, the patients were asked about the healing of the knee, symptoms they had experienced, as well as their satisfaction with the treatment and its results. The patients were also asked which group they believed they had been in and whether they would be willing to choose the treatment they had received, if they had to make the same decision as they did in the previous year.

In both groups, most patients were satisfied with the status of their knee and believed their knee felt better than before the procedure. Of the patients who underwent the partial meniscectomy, 93% would choose the same treatment, while 96% of those in the placebo group would choose the same.

"Based on these results, we should question the current line of treatment according to which patients with knee pain attributed to a degenerative meniscus tear are treated with partial removal of the meniscus, as it seems clear that instead of surgery, the treatment of such patients should hinge on exercise and rehabilitation," Järvinen states.

"By ceasing the procedures which have proven ineffective, we would avoid performing 10,000 useless surgeries every year in Finland alone", Sihvonen points out. "The corresponding figure for US is at least 500,000 surgeries", he continues.

The FIDELITY research project includes the Helsinki University Central Hospital, the Kuopio and Turku University Hospitals, the Hatanpää Hospital in Tampere, the Central Finland Central Hospital and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Source: University of Helsinki 

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