The surgery is an arthroscopic procedure called a partial meniscectomy, and doctors perform it to relieve pain and other symptoms associated with a tear in the knee's meniscus.
However, a new study that randomized people to receive either the surgery or a "sham" procedure that simulated it found no difference between pain symptoms or other measures of quality of life between the two groups, CBS News reported.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Teppo Jarvinen, a surgeon at the University of Helsinki in Finland, enrolled 146 patients between the ages of 35 and 65 who had knee pain for at least three months in a trial in which they were randomized to either undergo an arthroscopic partial meniscectomy or a "sham" procedure that mimics an arthroscopy.
The sham group was held in the operating and recovery rooms for the same amount of times as the surgery group.
All patients received the same walking aids and instructions for exercises, taking over-the-counter painkillers as required.
The researchers found that there were no significant differences between the real surgery group and the sham group.
The study is published in journal in the New England Journal of Medicine.