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A Randomized Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee *

Background The efficacy of arthroscopic surgery for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is unknown.

Methods We conducted a single-center, randomized, controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery in patients with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients were randomly assigned to surgical lavage and arthroscopic débridement together with optimized physical and medical therapy or to treatment with physical and medical therapy alone. The primary outcome was the total Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score (range, 0 to 2400; higher scores indicate more severe symptoms) at 2 years of follow-up. Secondary outcomes included the Short Form-36 (SF-36) Physical Component Summary score (range, 0 to 100; higher scores indicate better quality of life).

Results Of the 92 patients assigned to surgery, 6 did not undergo surgery. Of the 86 patients assigned to control treatment, all received only physical and medical therapy. After 2 years, the mean (±SD) WOMAC score for the surgery group was 874±624, as compared with 897±583 for the control group (absolute difference [surgery-group score minus control-group score], –23±605; 95% confidence interval [CI], –208 to 161; P=0.22 after adjustment for baseline score and grade of severity). The SF-36 Physical Component Summary scores were 37.0±11.4 and 37.2±10.6, respectively (absolute difference, –0.2±11.1; 95% CI, –3.6 to 3.2; P=0.93). Analyses of WOMAC scores at interim visits and other secondary outcomes also failed to show superiority of surgery.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-03-2008
Authors: Alexandra Kirkley, M.D., Trevor B. Birmingham, Ph.D., Robert B. Litchfield, M.D., J. Robert Giffin, M.D., Kevin R. Willits, M.D., Cindy J. Wong, M.Sc., Brian G. Feagan, M.D., Allan Donner, Ph.D., Sharon H. Griffin, C.S.S., Linda M. D'Ascanio, B.Sc.N., Janet E. Pope, M.D., and Peter J. Fowler, M.D.