, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 20-26

Joint irrigation as treatment for osteoarthritis

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Irrigation is necessary to achieve distension and visualization of the joint during arthroscopy. Clinical improvement observed after diagnostic arthroscopy has been attributed to irrigation, and this is supported by sound pathophysiologic rationales. Studies have been performed using various irrigation techniques with and without concomitant arthroscopy. Unblinded studies have generally yielded favorable results, although recent blinded studies have demonstrated a substantial and durable placebo effect, but little support for the benefit of the irrigation procedure.