(HealthDay News) – Outcomes after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy are no better than outcomes after sham surgery in patients with knee symptoms due to an apparent degenerative medial meniscus tear, according to a study published in the Dec. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Raine Sihvonen, MD, from Hatanpää City Hospital in Tampere, Finland, and colleagues randomly assigned 146 patients (35–65 years old) with knee symptoms consistent with a degenerative medial meniscus tear and no knee osteoarthritis to arthroscopic partial meniscectomy or sham surgery.

After 12 months, the researchers observed no significant differences between groups in terms of Lysholm and Western Ontario Meniscal Evaluation Tool score or score for knee pain after exercise. The two groups were also similar in terms of the number of patients who required subsequent knee surgery and the frequency of serious adverse events.

“In this trial involving patients without knee osteoarthritis but with symptoms of a degenerative medial meniscus tear, the outcomes after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy were no better than those after a sham surgical procedure,” Sihvonen and colleagues conclude.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology industries.

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