OBJECTIVES: A recent study reported a large increase in the number of meniscal procedures from 2000 to 2011 in Denmark. We examined the nation-wide distribution of meniscal procedures performed in the private and public sector in Denmark since different incentives may be present and the use of these procedures may differ from region to region.
SETTING: We included data on all patients who underwent an arthroscopic meniscal procedure performed in the public or private sector in Denmark.
PARTICIPANTS: Data were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Register on patients who underwent arthroscopic meniscus surgery as a primary or secondary procedure in the years 2000 to 2011. Hospital identification codes enabled linkage of performed procedures to specific hospitals.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Yearly incidence of meniscal procedures per 100,000 inhabitants was calculated with 95% CIs for public and private procedures for each region.
RESULTS: Incidence of meniscal procedures increased at private and at public hospitals. The private sector accounted for the largest relative and absolute increase, rising from an incidence of 1 in 2000 to 98 in 2011. In 2011, the incidence of meniscal procedures was three times higher in the Capital Region than in Region Zealand.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified a large increase in the use of meniscal procedures in the public and private sector in Denmark. The increase was particularly conspicuous in the private sector as its proportion of procedures performed increased from 1% to 32%. Substantial regional differences were present in the incidence and trend over time of meniscal procedures.