Knee Surgery Does Not Reduce Knee Catching or Locking in Patients with Meniscal Tear


FREE PREVIEW. AAFP members and paid subscribers: Log in to get free access. All others: Purchase online access.

FREE PREVIEW. Purchase online access to read the full version of this article.

Am Fam Physician. 2016 Aug 15;94(4):317a-318.

Clinical Question

Does partial meniscectomy fix mechanical symptoms—knee catching or locking—better than sham surgery?

Bottom Line

Removing the torn bits of meniscus in middle-aged patients who have intermittent knee catches or locking does not decrease their likelihood of experiencing symptoms in the following year compared with diagnostic arthroscopy (i.e., looking but not touching). In general, meniscectomy does not improve knee pain, regardless of the symptoms (N Engl J Med. 2013;369(26):2515–2524). (Level of Evidence = 1b−)


This report is a substudy of a larger study investigating the effect of arthroscopic surgery on (relatively) young patients with meniscal tear but without

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.

To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP, search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.

A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.


Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions

CME Quiz

More in AFP

Editor's Collections

Related Content

More in Pubmed


Oct 15, 2016

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article