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Arthroscopy of the knee joint for arthrosis: No benefit detectable
Date:5/13/2014

The benefit of therapeutic arthroscopy with lavage and possible debridement for the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint (gonarthrosis) is not proven. There was no hint, indication or proof of benefit of therapeutic arthroscopy in comparison with non-active comparator interventions, e.g. sham surgery, for any patient-relevant outcome. From the active comparator therapies, only the injection of glucocorticoids into the knee joint produced worse results than arthroscopy for the outcome "global assessment of the symptoms of gonarthrosis".

This was the result of the final report published by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) on 12 May 2014. A new study, in which strengthening exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist were used as comparator therapy, did not change this assessment.

Arthroscopy aims to relieve symptoms

Gonarthrosis, also called "osteoarthritis of the knee", is a chronic progressive disease, which often occurs in both knees at the same time. Increasing failure of the joint is associated with changes in the structure of the joint, pain, and loss of flexibility. It makes daily tasks like climbing stairs difficult and can reduce quality of life. Around 17 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women in Germany develop osteoarthritis at some point in their lives. This disease most commonly affects the hip and knee joints. The risk factors of gonarthrosis include age, sex, genetic factors and obesity.

Therapeutic arthroscopy of the knee joint is an endoscopic procedure where the knee joint is flushed with saline solution. Sometimes meniscal or cartilage abnormalities are removed or smoothed (debridement). The aim of this procedure is to relieve symptoms like pain and improve flexibility.

Wide variety of treatments

IQWiG compared this treatment with several other interventions, including no treatment, sham treatment and active treatments w
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Contact: Dr. Anna-Sabine Ernst
presse@iqwig.de
49-022-135-6850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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