The following article is from a US News article, published March 19, 2013.
Physical therapy is comparable to surgery in improving movement and reducing pain for some patients with knee arthritis and torn knee cartilage, new research finds.
Many middle-aged and older adults have severe knee pain due to a tear in the meniscus, a crucial support structure in the knee that is often damaged in people with knee osteoarthritis.
Each year in the United States, more than 450,000 arthroscopic surgeries are performed to treat meniscal tears, but scant data exist to help doctors determine if physical therapy or surgery is the best treatment for a patient, according to the researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Their study of 351 patients — all over age 45 with knee pain, meniscal tear and knee osteoarthritis — suggests that physical therapy may be equal to surgery for some patients.
Participants were randomly assigned to be treated with either arthroscopic surgery or physical therapy. When they were assessed six and 12 months later, both groups had substantial and similar improvements in movement.
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For Your Health,
Dr. Ryan Moorman