August 7, 2017, MDLinx/University at Buffalo Health and Medicine News
Cleaning up loose cartilage is not always beneficial, according to a new University at Buffalo study that could impact athletes and seniors, reduce health care costs.
A team of University at Buffalo medical doctors has published a study that challenges a surgical practice used for decades during arthroscopic knee surgery.
When treating meniscal tears surgeons also have clipped and smoothed any dislodged cartilage they found in the belief it was helping patients. But the new study finds that practice does not benefit the patient. Patients who did not have dislodged cartilage removed, recovered faster, with less pain, and ended up a year later with identical results.
“Those with less surgery got better faster in comparison with the people we did more surgery on,” said Leslie J. Bisson, MD, professor and chair in the Department of Orthopaedics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and lead author of the study.
The finding was so surprising that an editor at The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, which published the study, also published a commentary that said, “The conclusion that unstable cartilage lesions do not need debridement could have a dramatic impact on practice management, save health–care dollars, and improve early patient outcomes.”
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons also distributed the study on its weekly collection of papers of note.