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Is surgery the only option for meniscal tear and osteoarthritis?
Date:3/18/2013

e physical therapy arm had the opportunity to undergo surgery later in the course of the trial if they wished. Researchers assessed their improvement in functional status using standardized functional status scores after six and twelve months.

The researchers report that subjects assigned to physical therapy and those assigned to surgery both had substantial and similar improvements in functional status. However, researchers also note that these results were achieved in part because one-third of subjects assigned to the physical therapy arm elected to undergo surgery over the course of the study. The remaining two-thirds of patients in the physical therapy group did achieve similar improvements in pain and physical function compared to the surgical group, but without undergoing surgery.

"We hope these findings will help physicians and their patients with knee pain, meniscal tear and osteoarthritis to discuss the likely outcomes of surgery and physical therapy and make informed treatment decisions," said senior author, Elena Losina, PhD, co-director of the Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at BWH and Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery Harvard Medical School.

"These results are extremely valuable and will enable us to work with patients and their families to identify the treatment that is best aligned with patients' preferences," said John Wright, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at BWH and lead orthopedist on the study.


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Contact: Lori J. Schroth
ljschroth@partners.org
617-534-1604
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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