This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition meniscal tear
Treatments arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, physical therapy
Sponsor Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis
Collaborator ZonMw: The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
Start date July 2013
End date September 2017
Trial size 321 participants
Trial identifier NCT01850719, NL4418.100.13


The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of both arthroscopic knee surgery and physical therapy in the treatment of non-obstructive meniscal injuries in older patients.

The investigators assume equal improvement of physical function in both groups and reduced costs with conservative treatment.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model crossover assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose treatment
arthroscopic partial meniscectomy APM
Arthroscopic partial APM is performed within 4 weeks in day-care. No standard physical therapy is prescribed after surgery, as advised by the Dutch Orthopaedic Association Guidelines.
(Active Comparator)
physical therapy
Conservative treatment consist of 16 sessions PT and a home exercise program. These programs are developed for our population, 45-70 years, with a focus on closed-chain strength exercises and cardiovascular exercises. In case conservative treatment has failed, patients can cross-over and delayed APM is then performed. This can be done, from completion of the PT program, during the entire study.

Primary Outcomes

International Knee Documentation Committee 'Subjective Knee Form'
time frame: 3, 6, 12 and 24 months

Secondary Outcomes

RAND-36 Physical Functional Status Scale
time frame: 3, 6, 12 and 24 months
EQ-5D-5L Quality of life measure
time frame: 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months
Tegner Activity Scale
time frame: 3, 6, 12 and 24 months
Health Care Utilization and productivity losses
time frame: 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months
Patient Specific Complaints questionnaire
time frame: 3, 6 ,12 and 24 months
Physical Examination
time frame: 3 and 24 months
VAS pain score
time frame: 3, 6, 12 and 24 months

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 45 years up to 70 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Patients between 45 and 70 years of age at presentation. - A meniscal tear visualized on MRI. The meniscal tear can either be isolated or combined with a partial asymptomatic Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury or an asymptomatic degenerative ACL shown on MRI with no abnormal clinical findings (a negative Lachman test and Pivot Shift). - Mental Competence. - Willingness to comply with follow up schedule. - Written informed consent. Exclusion Criteria: - Knee locking or trauma leading to acute surgery. - One of the following associated injuries on the index knee: 1. A symptomatic partial ACL rupture or any total ACL rupture determined by clinical examination (positive Lachman test and/or positive Pivot Shift) and shown on MRI; 2. A complete Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury; 3. Cartilage change down to bone; grade 4 of the Kellgren Lawrence Grading Scale for Osteoarthritis visualized on X-ray; 4. An injury to the lateral/posterolateral ligament complex with significantly increased laxity. - A history of knee surgery other than diagnostic arthroscopy on the index knee. - Tumors on MRI suspected for a malignancy. - Obese patients with Body Mass Index (BMI) > 35. - ASA 4-5 patients which can severely interfere with rehabilitation. - General disease that effects physical function or systemic medication/abuse of steroids (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, gout, pseudogout) - Any other medical condition or treatment interfering with the completion or assessment of the trial, e.g. contraindications to MRI or surgery. - Drugs or alcohol abuse. - Patients unable to speak or read Dutch.

Additional Information

Official title Cost-effectiveness of Early Surgery Versus Conservative Treatment With Optional Delayed Meniscectomy in Older Patients. A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Principal investigator Rudolf W Poolman, MD PhD
Description Rationale: Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy (APM) is the most performed orthopaedic procedure and is current standard treatment for patients with meniscal tears. Since superiority of APM over conservative treatment has not well been described and studies with direct comparison between APM and conservative treatment are sparse, therefore there is risk of large healthcare inefficiency. Study design: Non-inferiority multicenter randomized controlled trial with an economic evaluation alongside. The study will be conducted by the Orthopaedic Research Consortium Mid-West Netherlands and performed in 6 clinics, including 2 academic medical centers. 402 patients between 45 and 70 years with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-confirmed symptomatic, non-obstructive meniscal tears will be included. Patients will be assigned to either APM (n=201) or Physical Therapy (PT; n=201), with optional delayed APM (cross-over) when conservative treatment has failed. Block randomization will be done stratified for age and site. Data will be analysed on both intention to treat and per protocol basis. Measurement points: - Patients will be asked to complete questionnaires at baseline and 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months. - At both 3 and 24 months they will visit the outpatient department for physical examination. - At 24 months an X-ray will be obtained. Sample size calculation: 402 patients, based on a power of 90%, an alpha of 0.05, a standard deviation of 20 points and a non-inferiority threshold of 8 points on the IKDC 'Subjective Knee Form'. Loss to follow up and cross-over have been taken into account in this calculation.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in March 2016.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis.