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Meniscal Tear in Osteoarthritis Research (MeTeOR) Study

Meniscal tears with concomitant osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee are a common source of pain and disability in the United States, and over 300,000 surgeries are performed each year to address this complaint.

Observational studies suggest that arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) relieves symptoms and improves functional status, but the question of whether patients receiving surgical therapy (APM) have a better response than those receiving nonoperative therapy (physical therapy with medication) remains. The Meniscal Tear in Osteoarthritis Research (MeTeOR) study aims to fill this gap in current research.

Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MS, director of the Orthopedic and Arthritis Center of Outcomes Research (OrACORe), along with a team of investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and six other centers across the US, was awarded a $2.5 million dollar grant from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to lead a multicenter, randomized controlled trial to compare these two approaches. The team includes Elena Losina, PhD, OraCORe co-director; John Wright, MD, lead orthopaedic surgical investigator at BWH; Thomas Thornhill, MD, advisory committee leader; and many other individuals at BWH and the other centers.

The MeTeOR trial has randomized 351 patients with both a meniscal tear and knee OA to receive either APM (including post-operative physical therapy) or non-operative treatment (intensive physical therapy with medications). The OrACORe team continues to collaborate with orthopedic surgeons and research departments around the country to follow up with study participants at seven centers:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA)
Hospital for Special Surgery (New York, NY)
Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH)
Vanderbilt Medical Center (Nashville, TN)
Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)
RUSH University (Chicago, IL)
Washington University (St. Louis, MO).

MeTeOR subjects were recruited and enrolled from May 2008 through August 2011. All subjects have completed 6 months of follow-up and continue to be followed with radiograph and MRI images, questionnaires, and phone surveys. In August 2012 follow-up of subjects from all centers was centralized to BWH, where it will continue through 5 years post treatment.

  • For more details about the MeTeOR trial’s design, visit our study page at
  • To learn more about meniscal tears, visit the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons meniscal tear page.
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