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Therapy Can Work As Well As Surgery For Knee Injury

03/21/13

  10:41:19 am, by MedBen5   , 201 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Therapy Can Work As Well As Surgery For Knee Injury

Physical therapy can prove just as effective for repairing the knee as surgery, a new study concludes.

The Associated Press reports that a torn meniscus – one of the crescent-shaped cartilage discs that cushion the knee – can improve through therapy, though not necessarily right away. Researchers found that it can take between six months and a year for the injury to mend, but the results are ultimately the same as those who were quickly given arthroscopic surgery.

“Both are very good choices. It would be quite reasonable to try physical therapy first because the chances are quite good that you’ll do quite well,” said one study leader, Dr. Jeffrey Katz, a joint specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

About one-third of people over 50 have a tear in a meniscus, and arthritis makes this more likely. Often, a tear can be mistaken for arthritis, and it can be difficult to tell whether surgery is needed or will help.

Therapy “is a reasonable first strategy, with surgery reserved for the minority who don’t have improvement,” Rachelle Buchbinder of Monash University in Melbourne wrote in a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, which published the study online.

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