Treating Knee Pain: Surgery vs. Physical Therapy

Whats the best approach to treating knee pain from osteoarthritis and a torn meniscus?

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Pain in your knee may be a sign of osteoarthritis. It could also be a torn meniscus (a C-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee joint). Or, it could be both. There is a high prevalence of both meniscus tears and osteoarthritis in the knee in middle-aged and older adults, says orthopaedic surgeon Kurt P. Spindler, MD. Surgery to repair a torn meniscus is an option, but should you go this route? A study comparing surgery to physical therapy for meniscal tears found that both are equally effective, which caused some people to conclude that surgery is practically useless.
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