BACKGROUND: Despite absence of evidence of a clinical benefit of arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM), many surgeons claim that subgroups of patients benefit from APM.
OBJECTIVE: We developed a prognostic model predicting change in patient-reported outcome 1 year following arthroscopic meniscal surgery to identify such subgroups.
METHODS: We included 641 patients (age 48.7 years (SD 13), 56% men) undergoing arthroscopic meniscal surgery from the Knee Arthroscopy Cohort Southern Denmark. 18 preoperative factors identified from literature and/or orthopaedic surgeons (patient demographics, medical history, symptom onset and duration, knee-related symptoms, etc) were combined in a multivariable linear regression model. The outcome was change in Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS4) (average score of 4 of 5 KOOS subscales excluding the activities of daily living subscale) from presurgery to 52 weeks after surgery. A positive KOOS4 change score constitutes improvement. Prognostic performance was assessed using R2 statistics and calibration plots and was internally validated by adjusting for optimism using 1000 bootstrap samples.
RESULTS: Patients improved on average 18.6 (SD 19.7, range -38.0 to 87.8) in KOOS4. The strongest prognostic factors for improvement were (1) no previous meniscal surgery on index knee and (2) more severe preoperative knee-related symptoms. The model's overall predictive performance was low (apparent R2=0.162, optimism adjusted R2=0.080) and it showed poor calibration (calibration-in-the-large=0.205, calibration slope=0.772).
CONCLUSION: Despite combining a large number of preoperative factors presumed clinically relevant, change in patient-reported outcome 1 year following meniscal surgery was not predictable. This essentially quashes the existence of 'subgroups' with certain characteristics having a particularly favourable outcome after meniscal surgery.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01871272.