Middle aged patients with knee damage can substitute surgery with exercises
A tear of meniscus is a widespread condition of a knee damage, where the rubbery disc called meniscus, which smooths the knee joint, is ruptured. New studies believe that a certain program of exercises under supervision can be just as efficient in treating meniscal tear, as surgery, in middle-aged patients.
Until now, a couple of millions of patients with meniscal tear undergo a surgery, intended to improve the knee condition, called arthroscopy. The surgery is quite expensive and in many cases, it shows little result in relieving pain and restoring normal movement.
During the new study, a group of patients in their middle ages, with knee damage caused by meniscal tear, underwent two types of therapies. The first group was treated with exercises under supervision and according to a specially composed program. The second group underwent the arthroscopic knee surgery with following recovery process including simple exercises.
At the end of the study, there was no big difference in knee condition and the changes in meniscal tear aftereffects, resulted from both surgery and special exercises. However, the patients that underwent special exercises, showed improved muscle strength. There was no unfavorable effects from either of the therapies during the study. However, some of the participants from the group that underwent the exercise therapy, decided to take the surgical path after all, although no additional improvement was noticed.
Even though the therapy, based on the special program of supervised exercises, is mostly a short-term solution for meniscal tear, it still remains an option for middle-aged patients. It is also a result that may prompt further studies to seek for improved therapeutic strategies for meniscal tear treatment that will help avoiding surgical path.