No Benefit To Knee Surgery Compared To Physical Therapy – Pine Bark May Help Pain and Aid Recovery

No Benefit To Knee Surgery Compared To Physical Therapy – Pine Bark May Help Pain and Aid Recovery

Arthroscopic Surgery

(Best Syndication News) New research indicates that knee surgery does not benefit arthritis patients any more than optimized physical and medical therapy (see videos below). This finding may be important news for patients considering arthroscopic knee surgery to repair damage caused by injury or arthritis.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure where doctors examine and sometimes treat damaged joints. Using an arthroscope (a type of endoscope), a surgeon looks between the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, and hip joint to treat various orthopedic conditions including torn floating cartilage, torn surface cartilage, ACL reconstruction, and trimming damaged cartilage.

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New Randomized Controlled Study

Brian Feagan, director of the Robarts Clinical Trials at the University of Western Ontario in London, and his team randomly enrolled 92 patients for knee surgery and 86 patients were assigned to a control group. The control group were not given surgery but were treated with “optimized physical and medical therapy.”

At a two year follow-up the patients were given a primary outcome using the total Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score (range, 0 to 2400; higher scores indicate more severe symptoms). Of the 92 patients assigned to surgery, 6 did not undergo the operation.

Secondary outcomes included the Short Form-36 (SF-36) Physical Component Summary score (range, 0 to 100; higher scores indicate better quality of life). The researchers found that “WOMAC scores at interim visits and other secondary outcomes also failed to show superiority of surgery.”

This new research was published in the September 11th 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Other Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

On September 3rd 2008 the August journal of Phytotherapy Research, revealed that Pycnogenol, bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduced overall knee osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms by 20.9 percent and lowered pain by 40.3 percent. The pine bark is a potent anti-inflammatory and may “naturally” reduce osteoarthritis.

The background information for the study states: “The lasting effects found in this study suggest that Pycnogenol may help the joints to recover.” Even after the treatment was terminated for two weeks there were no relapses.

By Marsha Quinn
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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