Exercise therapy also an effective step in knee treatment for middle-aged patients. A new study reveals that people with a common type of knee injury known as meniscal tear (the damage to the rubbery discs that cushion the knee joint) can effectively cure their problem by exercise as compared to surgery.
The researchers suggested that supervised exercise therapy should be considered a treatment option for patients surfing from meniscal tear. It will be as effective as surgery, the study reveals.
Explaining the research, University of Helsinki researcher Teppo Jarvinen said that they had carried out a randomised controlled trial for the study to compare exercise therapy with arthroscopic surgery among middle-aged patients with degenerative meniscal tears. The arthroscopic knee surgery offers little benefit for most patients, he added.
During the research they found 140 affected adults (average age 50 years), almost all of whom had no definitive x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis. out of which, 70 of therm received a supervised exercise programme which includes two to three sessions per week for for 12 weeks, while the rest 70 patients received arthroscopic surgery followed by simple daily exercises to perform at home.
Thigh muscle strength was assessed at three months and knee function was recorded at two years. And researchers found no clinically relevant difference was found between the two groups for outcomes such as function in sport and recreation, pain, and knee-related quality of life. At three months, muscle strength had improved in the exercise group of patients.
No adverse events occurred in either group during the two-year follow-up. Of all participants in the exercise group, 13 crossed over to surgery during the follow-up period — with no additional benefits.
“Supervised exercise therapy showed positive effects over surgery in improving thigh muscle strength, at least in short term. Our results should encourage clinicians and middle aged patients with degenerative meniscal tear and no radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis to consider supervised structured exercise therapy as a treatment option,” Jarvinen said.
The study was first published in the journal The BMJ.
With Inputs from IANS