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Study: Too many arthroscopic knee surgeries

September 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study questions whether millions of americans are needlessly undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.The surgery involves smoothing out the cartilage's damaged surface with a mini scope and camera.

The first report in the New England Journal of Medicine finds this procedure is no more helpful in reducing pain than medicine and physical therapy.

About 1 million arthroscopic knee surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. Each costs about $7,000.

Web Extra Information: Tips for protecting your joints from arthritis

  • Lose weight. Excess weight stresses hips, knees and other joints; every pound lost reduces the load exerted on the knee for each step by 4 pounds
  • Get active. Exercise strengthens the muscles around joints, which can prevent cartilage from wearing down
  • Stay straight. Good posture protects the neck, back, hip and knee joints
  • Don't sit still. Switching positions can decrease joint and muscle stiffness
  • Lift carefully. Use your biggest and strongest joints and muscles when lifting or carrying to avoid straining smaller joints
  • Break it up. Rest between periods of heavy activity to prevent repetitive stress on joints that can accelerate wear and tear
  • Don't overdo it. Get help for any job that's too physically demanding and don't be a "weekend warrior" by jumping into sports your body isn't prepared to handle

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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