Study finds minimal association between Baseline Meniscal sy
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Researchers investigated whether patients with meniscal tears who report “meniscal symptoms” have greater improvement with arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) than physical therapy (PT). Patients with meniscal tears reporting “meniscal symptoms” such as catching or locking, have traditionally undergone arthroscopy.

Researchers used data from the Meniscal Tear in Osteoarthritis Research (MeTeOR) trial, which randomized participants with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and meniscal tear to APM or PT. The frequency of each “meniscal symptom” (clicking, catching, popping, intermittent locking, giving way, swelling) was measured at baseline and 6 months.

Linear regression models were used to determine whether the difference in improvement in KOOS pain at 6 months between those treated with APM versus PT was modified by the presence of each “meniscal symptom”. The percent of participants with resolution of “meniscal symptoms” by treatment group were also determined. Analysis included 287 participants.

--The presence (vs. absence) of any of the “meniscal symptoms” did not modify the improvement in KOOS Pain between APM vs. PT by more than 0.5 SD.

--APM led to greater resolution of intermittent locking and clicking than PT (locking 70% vs 46%, clicking 41% vs 25%).

--No difference in resolution of the other “meniscal symptoms” was observed.

In conclusion, "Meniscal signs" were not linked to better pain relief. While the APM community showed less symptoms of clicking and intermittent locking, the existence of "meniscal symptoms" in isolation should not be used to make clinical decisions about APM vs. PT in patients with meniscal tears and knee OA.