August 2002 AAOS Report

AAOS, AOSSM letter to editor printed in New York Times

The following letter appeared on the July 18, 2002 New York Times editorial page in response to the article, "Arthritis Surgery in Ailing Knees is Cited as Sham." "It is a mistake to use a research publication that is focused on osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis of the knee to suggest that knee arthroscopy is ineffective for treating knee pain caused by torn cartilage or ligaments, conditions far more likely to have arthroscopic treatment than is osteoarthritis.

"Over the past 25 years, thousands of clinical research publications have confirmed the effectiveness of arthroscopic knee surgery in reliving knee pain for millions of Americans.

"Osteoarthritis of the knee constitutes only a small segment of those who have arthroscopic knee surgery, and for the much larger group with torn cartilage and ligaments, arthroscopic surgery remains effective, less invasive and more cost-effective treatment than was available during its advent." The letter was signed by Vernon T. Tolo, MD, president of AAOS, and Peter Fowler, MD, president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

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