Thursday, September 11, 2008

Osteoarthritis (OA): Knee Surgery No Panacea!

Each year thousands of medics utilize their surgical instruments to perform surgery for treating osteoarthritis, however, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that surgery wasn't any better than conventional treatments for treating the disorder.

Arthroscopic surgery is a widely accepted minimally invasive surgical procedure, wherein surgeons insert medical instruments including an arthroscope in the knee to remove cartilage fragments, thus smoothening the joint surface to provide relief.

However, the recent study by scientists at the Robarts Clinical Trials at the University of Western Ontario in London concluded that patients with arthritic knees benefited equally well with non-surgical treatments viz. pharma drugs and physical therapy.

The research lasting 8 years, from 1999 to 2007 is based on the observation of 178 osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Of which 86 were treated with medicines and physical therapy. And at the end no additional benefits of surgery were found.

Despite the results, the authors suggest that knee arthroscopy is beneficial in the treatment of many abnormal medical conditions affecting the knee, viz meniscal repair, resection.

Osteoarthritis (OA), or degenerative arthritis, is a clinical syndrome in which low-grade inflammation results in swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints. The disorder is a consequence of wear and tear within the joint. It's also the most common type of arthritis that affects 27 million Americans and 10% of the Canadians.

Although simple arthroscopic procedures might not have proven to be better than conventional treatments in this study, experts believe that for patients with severe arthritis, “knee replacement surgery” serves as an option.

Aside from the study, see how there can be Better Outcome for OA Through Technology and also find out: Osteoarthritis (OA): Can Chinese Therapy Qigong Treat it?

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