PhD student: Kristoffer Borbjerg Hare

The Benefit of Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy – A Double-Blinded Randomised Placebo (Sham) Controlled Multi-Centre Trial

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and the knee is one of the most affected joints. The meniscus plays an important role in the developing of knee OA. It is unclear whether a degenerative meniscus tear is a risk factor of developing knee OA or a sign of disease. The standard treatment of a degenerative meniscus tear is an arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM). There is strong evidence that this puts the knees at high risk for the later development of OA. Earlier studies have shown a significant placebo effect from surgical procedures in general and an arthroscopic knee procedure in particularly.

The overall purpose of this study is to prevent the development of osteoarthritis in middle-aged patients. We hypothesize that the benefit from an arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is due to the placebo effect measured on self-reported outcomes, and that the meniscectomy contributes to the development of knee osteoarthritis seen on radiography.

We will include 100 patients aging from 35-55 years with a MR confirmed medial meniscus tear and without knee OA (excluding patients with Grade 3 or 4 knee OA on the Kellgren-Lawrence classification). Participants will be randomized to a standard APM procedure or a sham procedure and both groups will receive standard postoperative care. Primary outcome will be a self-reported questionnaire, the KOOS score, and a functionality test after 3 and 24 months.

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