Knee arthroscopy demonstrated limited efficacy for relieving local symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and may actually increase certain symptoms, according to study results published in Clinical Rheumatology.
To determine whether unilateral knee arthroscopy (UKA) improved knee OA symptoms, investigators analyzed data from 163 patients included in the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) database who underwent UKA and were followed-up for at least 24 months. Patients in the OAI cohort were aged 45 to 79 years at the start of the study and had or were at high risk of developing symptomatic knee OA.
Patients undergoing UKA were matched to 1:1 with patients who did not undergo UKA (non-UKA group). Outcome measures included new frequent knee pain, aching, or stiffness (FKPAS), improved FKPAS, new knee catching or locking (KCL), improved KCL, new knee grinding or clicking (KGC), improved KGC, and multiple knee symptoms.
A total of 326 knees were included in the final analysis.
The 3 joint symptoms (FKPAS, KCL, and KGC) were improved during the 1-year follow-up period, but the symptom-relief rate was not significantly different between the UKA and non-UKA groups.
The KCL symptom-relief rate was 62.2% in the UKA group and 60.0% in the non-UKA group (P =.86). Similarly, the symptom-relief rate for FKPAS was 42.0% in the non-UKA group and 40.0% in the UKA group (P =.04).
There were no differences in new-onset symptoms between the 2 groups in terms of KCL symptoms (P =.83). However, the occurrence of other knee joint symptoms differed between groups, with a significantly higher likelihood of KGC symptoms (5.82-fold increase; P <.001) and FKPAS symptoms (5.65-fold increase; P <.001) in the UKA group with new-onset knee activity compared with the non-UKA group.
Additionally, the UKA group was associated with a significantly higher rate of experiencing 2 or more knee symptoms (5.68-fold increase; P <.001) compared with the non-UKA group.
Study limitations included the observational design, potential recall bias, and missing data on the exact date patients underwent UKA.
The study authors concluded, “Overall, our results indicated that reasonable conservative treatment and health education may be more effective for these patients than UKA.”
This article originally appeared on Rheumatology Advisor
Ou Y, Xiong T, Li N, et al. Knee arthroscopy has limited effects on relieving local symptoms of knee osteoarthritis: an analysis of data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Clin Rheumatol. Published online August 9, 2023. doi:10.1007/s10067-023-06737-y