3 years ago

Deconstructing a popular myth: why knee arthroscopy is no better than placebo surgery for degenerative meniscal tears

Myths in medicine

There are many myths in modern medicine.1 Myths are good stories that are easy to remember, and when they include a mechanical explanation for changes in pain that make intuitive sense, they catch on and live for a long time. One such story is that meniscal tears cause pain, which can be relieved by removal of the damaged meniscal tissue.1 This myth has been ‘busted’ by randomised, double-blinded trials in middle-aged and older patients demonstrating knee arthroscopy to be no better for degenerative meniscal tears than placebo surgery.2 3 But why does knee arthroscopy provide no better pain relief than placebo surgery?

Deconstructing a myth

The rationale for cutting away damaged meniscal tissue is based on the premise that the injured or damaged parts of the meniscus are the primary cause of the patient’s pain...

Publisher URL: http://bjsm.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/51/22/1630

DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097877

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