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Acta Orthop Scand. 2000 Oct;71(5):455-60.

Arthroscopic meniscectomy: treatment costs and postoperative function in a historical perspective.

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Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.


We report short-term data from 82 consecutive patients with arthroscopic meniscectomy 1995-1998 in stable knees and without severe cartilage changes. All patients were treated as outpatients, the operating time was, on average, 23 SD12 minutes and 3 of 4 patients were back at work within 1 week. Almost half of the patients still had some knee problems 3 months after surgery, but thereafter a substantial improvement was seen. We also report original data from a consecutive series of patients having arthroscopic meniscectomy 1980-81. In that series, the frequency of total meniscectomies was higher, the operating time longer, but the time to recovery was shorter than in 1995-98. In contrast to 1995-98, most of the patients in 1980-81 were followed by the doctor and had supervised rehabilitation. However, sick leave was similar in the two series. The total costs for an arthroscopic meniscectomy in 1998 was less than half the costs in 1980-81. We conclude that the improved technique for arthroscopic meniscectomy during the last 15-20 years and less supervised rehabilitation have reduced the costs, but not the recovery time.

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