Stop the presses! There was a study showing that middle-aged people (mean age of 53 – 59) who have arthroscopic repair of degenerative meniscal tears do NOT have significantly improved long-term pain OR function over conservative measures.
This study included 805 patient. They found that those who had conservative management benefitted at 6 months as much as those with arthroscopic surgery. In the short term (less than six months) there was a statisftically significant improvement in functional outcomes with surgery. Surgery did not improve pain in the short term or the long term.
Conservative management included standardized exercise program. Want more information? Canadian Medical Association Journal 2014; 186 (14): pgs 1057-1064.