Many middle-aged and older adults with torn cartilage and pain in their knee are not likely to benefit from so-called arthroscopic surgery, a review of past studies suggests.

For many people with a tear in the rubbery cartilage that cushions the knee, physical therapy may work just as well as surgery in terms of quieting pain and returning the joint’s function, a new study suggests.

So-called arthroscopic knee surgery is becoming a less common treatment for adults with torn cartilage or painful arthritis as a growing body of evidence shows little benefit from these operations, a U.S. study suggests.