The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on partial replacement of the meniscus of the knee using a biodegradable scaffold.
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped cartilage inside either side of the knee. It acts as a shock absorber between the long bones of the leg. It can be damaged by injury or overuse, causing pain, swelling and locking of the knee. In this procedure, a biodegradable implant is placed into the meniscus by ‘keyhole’ knee surgery. The implant works as a scaffold to support re-growth and repair of the damaged meniscus. The aim of the procedure is to relieve pain and restore the mobility of the knee.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.