Common knee surgery may not be very effective

By Amanda Stewart,

A surgery that is quite popular has shown to be no more effective than undergoing a fake operation, reports a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Thousands of people may be undergoing unnecessary surgeries. The New York Times reports that the study involved people undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus. This type of surgery is the most common orthopedic surgery in the United States.

Nearly 700,000 people undergo this procedure every year with an estimated cost of $4 billion dollars. However, the new study shows that physical therapy may have been able to do the same thing for some patients.

According to Reuters, the improvement of a patient who underwent the real surgery and those who underwent a fake surgery had practically the same outcome after a year.

Of those who underwent the surgery in this study, 77 percent of them were pleased with the outcome. Seventy percent of the patients who underwent the fake procedure said that they were pleased with the outcome of their surgeries. Ninety-three percent of patients who received the surgery and 96 percent of those who did not said that they would repeat the procedure again.

Dr. Craig Bennett weighed in on the subject saying that patients should not feel that they need to go get help right away. "You can just treat it with the conventional bag of tricks: painkillers, icing, losing weight, or slightly moderating your activities to make it a bit more tolerable," he said.

Many predict that this new study will not be welcome with open arms by doctors as it will lose the industry $4 billion dollars a year.


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