This new report suggests that knee arthroscopy surgery is ineffective for osteoarthritis. In fact it might even make things worse.
This article in the Sydney Evening Herald on knee arthroscopy surgery is worth reading. It explains what this knee arthroscopy surgery is and why it is not a good surgical option for people with osteoarthritis.
For those who don’t know knee arthroscopy surgery is keyhole surgery where the surgeon does in and flushes out in debris from the degeneration and tidies up the cartilage.
The problem to me is that ANY surgery is invasive and so carries risks.
Should You Have Knee Arthroscopy Surgery?
Surgery should NEVER be a first line of treatment. However our GPs refer us to orthopaedic SURGEONS. This is their craft- they perform surgery! They do not give exercise programs or give you physical therapy, they cut you open. This is fine if you have severe OA and need a replacement but if you are younger or your OA is mild or moderate you have been referred to the wrong person what choice do they have but to perform knee arthroscopy surgery
As patients I believe we put pressure on our Doctors to know the answer and to do something. If we leave the clinic without a prescription then “My doctor did nothing to help- he was useless!” If we leave the surgeons office without a date for surgery ” He doesn’t understand how much pain I am in.”
Now add to that the fact the surgeon has to make a living and what will his decision be? You aren’t ready for a knee replacement so he performs knee arthroscopy surgery instead as an interim measure.
Instead of doing this he should be referring you for physical therapy and making sure that includes a set of exercises that you can do for this long term. This will help stabilize your condition and put off surgery for the longest time possible. So will he do this? Being rather cynical I doubt it myself!
So if you have mild or moderate osteoarthritis rather than having knee arthroscopy surgery, look for non-invasive treatments and make some lifestyle changes. To learn more about these sign up for my free 3 day course on Pain Management for Osteoarthritis.
P.S. Although the knee joint is the studied joint this will apply to any joint with osteoarthritis!