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Is surgery necessary for pain in the knees?

Q: My 61 years old father has been complaining of pain in his knees. The doctor suggested an MRI. The report showed grade III meniscal signal changes/ tear of posterior horn of the medial meniscus, degenerative changes / chronic partial tear of anterior cruciate ligament, degenerative osteoarthritic changes and minimal synovial collection. The doctor suggested surgery to correct this. Is it imperative to get the surgery done or the same can be cured with medicines?

A:These are typical MRI findings of any aging knee. Only pain in the knee is not an indication for surgery, but if he has symptoms such as catching, locking, etc. a small surgery called arthroscopy may be considered. Such knees mainly depend on physical therapy, weight reduction and life-style changes, for prolonging their life, and eventually replacement of the knee is the only permanent solution, may be when the patient feels significantly disabled.

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