THE CASE AGAINST KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

The need to replace a knee joint may arise if you have a severe case of osteoarthritis, have suffered trauma or have any of several degenerative diseases.

In the United States, osteoarthritis is the most common reason to have a knee replacement procedure performed. In some cases, the pain and stiffness in the joint will get progressively worse if the patient does not get their knee replaced with a man-made prostheses

Risks Associated with Knee Replacement Surgery 

 

As with all surgical procedures, knee replacement does present certain risks. Complications occur after about 40 percent of joint replacement surgeries. The risks you face include:

 

Is Knee Replacement Surgery Overused?

According to USA Today, the number of knee replacement procedures has increased by over 161 percent over the last two decades. This increase has led some to question whether the procedure is being overused. Roughly 34 percent of the people in a recent study by the Virginia Commonwealth University were found to have had unnecessary knee replacement surgery.

The study used criteria such as the patient's range of motion and the severity of their arthritis to determine whether the surgeries were necessary. Most of the 34 percent had moderate symptoms and the damage to their joints was not widespread. The study deemed only 44 percent of the procedures performed to have been appropriate and 22 percent were categorized as "inconclusive."

 

Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery

 

Knee replacement surgery is a serious procedure. Aside from the risks, there are other reasons that you should look into alternatives; the reasons include the fact that it involves a long recovery period. The length of the recovery period means that you may be unable to work for several weeks after surgery. Full recovery can take as long as a year.

As we have outlined in our case against knee replacement surgery, there are several problems associated with the procedure. However, advances in medical  technology have given rise to several non-surgical treatment options that are having very positive results. Some of these alternatives are:

Knee replacement surgery is a worthwhile option under the right circumstances; however, it is a serious procedure that should not be undertaken without considering the alternatives. Postponing the procedure until the alternatives have been tried is the best option for many patients as the prostheses do not last forever. By waiting, you can increase the chances you will only need to undergo the procedure once.

 

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