Background: This study was performed to assess the value of knee arthroscopy in patients with radiological signs of severe osteoarthritis.
Methods: A total of 104 patients (50 men, 54 women, average age 60 years) with radiological knee osteoarthritis grade III/IV were followed up after knee arthroscopy between May 1989 and November 1996. The average follow-up time was 5.4 years after surgery.
Results: A significant (p<0.01) increase in the Lysholm score was found, ranging from 40 points before arthroscopy to 69 points at the assessment. A total of 84 patients (81%) reported an increase in their activities of daily living, 44 patients (43%) were still without any complaints. The total outcome was rated very good or good by 67 patients (65%). Only 21 patients (20%) required further surgery before the assessment.
Conclusions: Knee arthroscopy is a valuable treatment for patients with pain, swelling, and radiological signs of severe osteoarthritis. It improves the patients’ activities of daily living and helps to postpone further surgery.