May not help patients with degenerative meniscal tears.Arthroscopic meniscal débridement is a commonly performed procedure in patients with degenerative meniscal tears. A recent study reports that arthroscopic surgery did not result in a significant improvement in pain scores in the short term or in the long term. An article written by Moin Khan, MD and others published August 25, 2014 in the CMAJ reviewed 805 patient outcomes for function and pain relief. The study compared surgery with: exercise or physical therapy; NSAIDS plus exercise; steroid injections; or control groups without meniscal débridement (sham treatment).
The authors conclude that the evidence suggests there is no benefit to arthroscopic meniscal débridement for degenerative meniscal tears in comparison to nonoperative treatments or sham treatments in middle-aged patients with mild or no accompanying osteoarthritis.
Informed patients along with their physicians need to carefully weigh the anticipated benefits against the possible harms when considering treatment options.