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Considering knee surgery? Read this first

23 July 2018 No Comment

That was the title of an article on The Conversation website a couple of weeks ago. Here is the link to the article, as well as a few choice quotes I have selected as a quick summary:

“Knee surgery is common. Young adults have their anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed after tearing it when playing sports. Middle-aged people have parts of their meniscus trimmed when they have pain and limited knee mobility. And older people have their knees replaced by metal and plastic when their cartilage has worn out. The idea that there is something mechanically wrong that needs to be fixed with orthopaedic surgery is a compelling idea – but is it right?”

“Replacing the knee joint with metal and plastic is not associated with pain relief for everyone. About two out of ten peoplewho undergo the procedure do not experience any pain relief at all and may actually be worse off after surgery than before.”

” the combination of surgery and the treatment package was associated with twice the improvement in pain and function compared with having the treatment package only. However, surgery came with a price. About one in ten people had a serious adverse event, such as a blood clot or an infection, requiring more treatments in hospital, including more surgery. While most of these people recovered fully, a few experienced long-term debilitating consequences.”

“Having the non-surgical treatment package only was associated with 30% pain relief, which was enough for three out of four participants to postpone surgery for at least one year. At two years, two out of three had still not had the surgery.”

“Surgery or not, a factor determining the outcome is good muscle strength and good muscle function. And, importantly, exercise and being more physically active will help improve your general health; it is not only beneficial for the knee.”

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