A surgery to repair meniscal tears may increase the risk of osteoarthritis and cartilage loss in some patients.
This is according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The findings show that the decision for surgery requires careful consideration in order to avoid accelerated disease onset, researchers said.
The new study focused on the meniscus, a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee that acts as a shock absorber between the femur, or thighbone, and tibia, or shinbone. The two menisci in each knee also play an important role in joint stability. Meniscal tears are among the most common knee injuries, and surgery is often performed to alleviate pain.
"Meniscal surgery is one of the most common orthopedic procedures performed to alleviate pain and improve joint function," said Frank W. Roemer, M.D., from Boston University School of Medicine in Boston and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany. "However, increasing evidence is emerging that suggests meniscal surgery may be detrimental to the knee joint."