Knee pain related to osteoarthritis (“wear-and-tear”) is extremely common, affecting roughly 30 million Americans. As opposed to the knee pain that nearly everybody experiences after a day strolling through the mall or gliding down the slopes, osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, defined as “pain in and around the knee on the majority of days for at least one month during the preceding year, accompanied by characteristic x-ray changes of degeneration.” Continue reading
A year ago, in my post “I’m skeptical about … arthroscopic knee surgery,” I reviewed several randomized controlled trials demonstrating that for degenerative arthritis of the knee, arthroscopic surgery doesn’t help. Continue reading
Osteoarthritis, often referred to as degenerative arthritis, is a non-inflammatory disease affecting predominately weight bearing joints like the knee and hip. It is not merely a disease of bone but represents a spectrum of degenerative disorders affecting one or more of the following joint components: bone, articular cartilage, meniscal cartilage, ligaments (the fibrous material that connects bone to bone), the joint capsule and synovial fluid, and, lastly, the pericapsular muscles and tendons. Continue reading
It’s a slick procedure, all right; a bit of spinal anesthesia, just 3 tiny incisions, some sophisticated gadgetry, a bit of maneuvering and sloshing, and all done. Zip, zip, zip. The recovery times are short, the complications few, and the whole idea of operating on the knee without any major incisions is just so downright appealing that it’s no wonder arthroscopic surgery is the most common orthopedic surgery performed in America, done almost a million times a year to the tune of more than $5 billion. But does it work?