A new study out of Boston University School of Medicine and University of Erlangen – Nuremberg in Germany has found a link between meniscus tear surgery and a heightened risk for osteoarthritis and progressive joint damage after surgery in some patients. Dr. Frank W. Roemer and his team used data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative and presented their findings at the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) yearly meeting.
Using MRI results from 355 subjects over a five year period, the researchers found that 31 subjects developed arthritis a year after undergoing surgery to repair meniscal tears.
There is always a possibility for progressive joint damage or the development of osteoarthritis over time when dealing with knee injuries. Age, lifestyle, physical fitness, and activity levels play a role in how well an injury heals and what the appropriate course of treatment might be in each individual case.
The study found that of the subjects observed, patients who did not previously show symptoms of osteoarthritis had an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis and cartilage loss in the year following surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
According to the study, 80.8 percent of patients who opted for surgery showed signs of cartilage loss, compared to 39.5 percent of patients who chose not to undergo surgery for meniscal damage. The researchers raised the possibility of conservative treatment options such as physical therapy and pain management with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories as a potential alternative to surgery for patients in a higher-risk category.
Because every injury and personal circumstances are different, the most important thing for anyone that has suffered a knee injury or is experiencing pain or signs of arthritis is to seek treatment as soon as possible. Only an experienced orthopedic surgeon can determine the best course of treatment for each patient.
If you have a meniscus tear and would like to discuss your options, contact Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon Dr. Millstein today at 310-595-1030 to schedule a consultation.
Next, read more about Prevention and Treatment of Pediatric ACL Tears.