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Men have better recovery after knee surgery
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In the first year after "keyhole" surgery
to remove a portion of a damaged meniscus, cartilage tissue that
provides structural integrity to the knee, women have poorer rates of
recovery than men do in terms of knee pain and knee function,
Also referred to arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, the procedure
involves the use of an endoscope rather than more extensive surgery, to
remove damaged meniscus tissue.
Patients with osteoarthritis also do not do as well as others
in the short-term, according to findings presented at the annual
meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in
Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Peter Fabricant, a 4th year medical student at Yale University School
of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut and colleagues determined
predictors of short-term recovery among 126 patients who underwent
arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.
Specifically, they looked at demographic variables, such as age, gender
and body mass index, as well as clinical variables, including the
involvement of one or both menisci, extent of meniscal damage and
extent of osteoarthritis, which they compared with short-term
Patient age and body mass index had no impact on patient recovery.
"There are data showing that people who are overweight and older people
don't fare as well in the long term," Fabricant noted in an interview
with Reuters Health, "but our study showed that in the short-term as
people recover from surgery, age and body mass index do not impact
recovery at all."
However, female gender did impact recovery. "Women had poorer recovery
scores over the recovery period," Fabricant reported. "We don't know
why this is," he acknowledged, "although some people think it might
have something to do with gender differences in hormones or
biomechanics in the knee."
As for the clinical variables, the extent of
osteoarthritis was the only independent factor associated with poorer
short-term recovery. Amount of tissue involved and resected had no
bearing on short-term postoperative recovery. "A lot of literature
talks about the more meniscus you remove the worse your outcome, but in
our study that was not associated with recovery," Fabricant said.
Arthritis has been shown to adversely affect the
long-term outcome as well, and it is not known "whether that is due to
one specific thing or whether it's more of a marker for a more
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