Arthroscopic Debridement of the Knee: An Evidence Update.Ont Health Technol Assess Ser 2014; 14(13):1-43OH
Patients with knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis or degenerative meniscal injury may seek treatment through arthroscopic surgery. How effective arthroscopic debridement with or without meniscectomy is for relieving pain and improving patients' functional outcomes is uncertain.
To conduct an evidence update of an evidence-based analysis (EBA) conducted in 2005 to determine if arthroscopic debridement for osteoarthritis of the knee or for meniscal injury from degenerative causes improve patient outcomes.
A literature search was performed using Ovid MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Embase, and all EBM databases, for studies published from January 1, 2005, to February 4, 2014.
A systematic review of the literature was conducted, limited to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effectiveness of arthroscopic debridement with or without meniscectomy. Quality assessment of the body of literature was conducted using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE).
A total of 8 RCTs were identified, 2 from the original EBA plus 6 that were published since that time. The studies included patients with a range of indications for treatment and severity of osteoarthritis. Moderate-quality evidence showed no statistically significant difference in pain or functional status between patients who received arthroscopic treatment versus placebo (e.g., sham surgery). Low-quality evidence showed no statistically significant difference in pain or functional status between patients who received arthroscopic treatment versus usual care (e.g., physical therapy).
Heterogeneity across the study populations, interventions, and reported measures limited the ability to calculate a summary effect estimate; however, all studies demonstrated consistency in their findings.
The evidence does not show the superiority of arthroscopic debridement with or without meniscectomy in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or with meniscal injury from degenerative causes.