Sports Medicine

Arthroscopic meniscal debridement offers no benefit for degenerative meniscal tears

Moderate evidence suggests there is no benefit to arthroscopic meniscal debridement for degenerative meniscal tears in middle-aged patients with mild or no concomitant osteoarthritis compared with nonoperative or sham treatments, according to researchers.

After searching the Medline, Embase and the Cochrane databases, researchers identified seven randomized, controlled trials published from 1946 to January 2014 that involved patients with degenerative medical tears and mild or no concurrent osteoarthritis presenting with knee pain, and that compared arthroscopic medical debridement with nonoperative treatments.

The researchers assessed risk of bias and pooled outcomes using a random-effects model, and outcomes of function and pain relief were dichotomized to short-term and long-term data.

Overall, results of the pooled analysis showed arthroscopic surgery did not result in significant improvements in patients’ pain scores in the short or long term, according to the researchers.

Although the short-term functional outcomes were significant between groups, they did not exceed the threshold for minimally important difference.

Additionally, no significant or minimally important differences were seen between treatment arms for long-term functional outcomes, according to the researchers.


Khan M. CMAJ. 2014;doi:10.1503/cmaj.140433.

Disclosure: Bhandari is a consultant for Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Amgen, Zimmer, Moximed and Bioventus and received grant support from Smith & Nephew, DePuy, Eli Lilly and Bioventus.



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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