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Large Joints Feature

Alexis Colvin, M.D. and James N. Gladstone, M.D. working at the U.S. Open / Source: Mount Sinai

Understanding Daily Living After Meniscectomy

Tracey Romero • Wed, May 3rd, 2017

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New research presented at the recent American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting offers a clearer picture of daily living after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy which can help surgeons better counsel patients on how and when to get back to their normal activities.

The presentation entitled “Return to Daily Life After Meniscectomy,” was delivered by co-authors Alexis Colvin, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and James N. Gladstone, M.D., co-chief of the Sports Medicine Service at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Gladstone told OTW, “Knee arthroscopy is perhaps the most commonly done procedure in orthopedics with over 1 million a year. We realized that there were no guidelines in the literature with respect to when patients could get back to activities of daily living, including things as simple as walking without an assistive device, driving or sitting on the toilet comfortably. There have been numerous studies looking at when and how well athletes get back to sports but none looking at the everyday person, particularly in an urban setting where people walk more and use public transport.”

To collect data, the researchers followed 75 patients at Mount Sinai from the preoperative period to three months after meniscectomy. Each of the patients answered a return to function questionnaire at one week, six weeks and three months post-operative.

“Besides using validated standardized need scores we also created a list of 20 questions of typically performed functions in an urban setting. We wanted to be able to provide practical information to patients in an urban setting on what to expect after one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed,” Gladstone said.

According to the results, most of the patients at two weeks could return to work, walk independently and get in and out of a car, but it was typically three weeks post-surgery before most felt comfortable riding a bus or the subway. And most people returned to restricted activities like riding a bike or linear running at one month after surgery.

The authors wrote, “The biggest challenge was in coming up with the applicable questions to answer the bigger overall question of the study which was what is the timeline to average return to a sample of different activities that people perform in their daily life. Our goal was to be able to provide patients, and physicians, with hard data with which to counsel patients.”

They plan on continuing to collect patient data to investigate whether comorbidities like smoking, diabetes, hypertension, body mass index (BMI) and arthritic status of knee impacts the recovery timeline. Data on patient’s work status and what type of work they do (desk job or manual labor) and whether or not they are receiving worker’s compensation will also be analyzed.

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