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Debridement Arthroscopy 10-Year Followup

McGinley, Brian, J.*; Cushner, Fred, D.**; Scott, W., Norman

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: October 1999 - Volume 367 - Issue - p 190–194
The Ranawat Award: PDF Only

The treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is a difficult problem. In the senior author's opinion, nonaggressive arthroscopic debridement of the knee is an effective procedure to relieve pain and restore function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. A subjective telephone interview of patients done 10 or more years after arthroscopic debridement evaluated the long term results of this treatment in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The patients all were candidates for total knee replacement who selected arthroscopy as a temporizing procedure. Of the 191 knees in patients undergoing arthroscopic debridement, 77 patients (91 knees) were contacted for followup. Sixty-seven percent of the 91 knees did not have total knee arthroplasty at an average of 13.2 years followup. The Tegner activity score averaged 3.5 and patient satisfaction averaged 8.6 on a 0 to 10 scale. Twenty-one patients (30 knees) or (33%) had total knee arthroplasty at an average of 6.7 years. Seven of these had total knee arthroplasty within 2 years of arthroscopic debridement. Six of these seven knees had Outerbridge Grade 4 articular cartilage changes and clinically significant meniscus tears. Seven of the 19 knees (37%) with Outerbridge Grade 4 changes in 80% of one knee compartment did not require total knee arthroplasty after greater than 10 year followup. The difficulties in long term followup in this patient population is evident, yet the number of patients who had a functional lifestyle after arthroscopic debridement was notable.

*Mather Hospital and St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY

**Insall Scott Kelly Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.