Recent research published in the British Medical Journal has suggested that exercise could work just as well as surgery for knee injuries.
The research has recommended that middle-aged adults who have been diagnosed with the common injury, a degenerative meniscal tear, should first try physical therapy.
It’s estimated that two million people have minimally-invasive or ‘keyhole’ surgery every year. A variety of different studies have shown that these procedures can have little benefit to many patients.
The study was carried out by researchers in Denmark and Norway. They compared the treatment of surgery versus the treatment with physical therapy.
The test included 140 adults who have experienced a degenerative meniscal tear. Half were prescribed 12 weeks of supervised exercise sessions, whilst the other half underwent surgery.
The study found that after three months, the first group registered higher thigh muscle strength that those in the surgery group. However, after two years the improvement from both groups were equal. The participants also reported similar progressions for pain, ability to play sports and knee-related quality of life.
Co-author of the research and orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Nina Klise stated “If it is possible to choose a treatment option that is non-surgical, that is the way to go.”
Source: The British Medical Journal