Letters Arthroscopic surgery for knee pain

Authors’ reply to Joshi

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4623 (Published 31 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4623
  1. Nina Jullum Kise, orthopaedic surgeon1,
  2. May Arna Risberg, physiotherapist and professor2 3 4,
  3. Lars Engebretsen, orthopaedic surgeon and professor3 5 6,
  4. Ewa M Roos, physiotherapist and professor7
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Martina Hansens Hospital, PO Box 823, N-1306 Sandvika, Norway
  2. 2Norwegian Research Centre for Active Rehabilitation, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
  4. 4Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  5. 5Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
  6. 6Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  7. 7Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy, Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  1. nina.kise{at}mhh.no

We thank Joshi for his interest in our research article.1 2

We agree that the finding of a degenerative meniscal tear on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is no cause for treatment, surgical or non-surgical, and that the common use of MRI in middle aged and elderly patients with chronic knee pain is costly and unwarranted. The increasing accessibility to MRI is indeed a likely contributor to the current high rate of arthroscopic knee surgery in middle aged and elderly people because a tear once shown demands to be treated even without a proven cause of symptoms.

Asymptomatic meniscal tears …

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