Australian Financial Review: The great knees up

Knee arthroscopies are so popular in Perth that one of the city's top orthopedic surgeons advertises them on Facebook. In Sydney, health officials are trying to stamp them out.

Australian Financial Review

by Aaron Patrick

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The $5000 in-and-out procedure - which can help people improve their walking and running - has become an unexpected frontline in the national productivity debate.

Peer-reviewed research has found little or no benefit for many patients, especially those over 55.

Large health insurer Bupa, which has spent almost $343 million over six years on knee arthroscopies, is publicly urging orthopedic surgeons to cut back on the operation. "I don't think there is a deliberate conspiracy on the part of surgeons," says Chris Dalton, Bupa's medical director. "If people have been doing something for decades it's hard to get them to change."

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