Knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis


This is a summary of the NHS Devon commissioning policy for knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis


Referral criteria

Arthroscopic knee washout (lavage and debridement) is not routinely commissioned in Devon as a treatment for osteoarthritis.

Referral for arthroscopic lavage and debridement should not be offered as part of treatment for osteoarthritis, unless the person has knee osteoarthritis with a clear history of mechanical locking.

More effective treatment includes exercise programmes, losing weight (if necessary) and managing pain. Osteoarthritis is relatively common in older age groups. Where symptoms do not resolve after non-operative treatment, referral for consideration of knee replacement, or joint preserving surgery such as osteotomy is appropriate.

Commissioning policy: Knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis

Where the circumstances of treatment for an individual patient do not meet the criteria described above exceptional funding can be sought. Individual cases will be reviewed by the appropriate panel of the CCG upon receipt of a completed application from the patient's GP, consultant or clinician. Applications cannot be considered from patients personally.

Referral Instructions

Queries and applications should be submitted by clinicians to the Individual Funding Request Panel via our generic email address:

Exceptional /Individual Funding Requests (IFR)

Referral Forms

Referral Form – Individual Funding Request (IFR)

Supporting Information

Patient Information

Individual Funding Request (IFR) Patient information leaflet

Date of publication: 8th March 2019

This policy has been adopted from Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG

and South Devon and Torbay CCG by NHS Devon CCG from 1 April 2019


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