The Dangers of Knee Replacement Surgery

The Dangers of Knee Replacement Surgery


Total knee replacement surgery is on the rise. However, studies are showing that total knee replacement operations are often unnecessary and can cause serious complications.

Is osteoarthritis giving you knee pain? You may think that a joint replacement is the best possible solution. After all, knee replacement numbers are large and growing: 600,000 of the surgeries were completed during 2009. As the joints of the baby-boomer generation continue to age, experts say that millions of these surgeries will be performed by 2030.

Before addressing a few of the complications that can accompany a knee replacement, let’s look at a study that suggests many total knee replacement surgeries are inappropriate.

Surgery recommended too often

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) published an important study last year that focused on appropriateness of total knee replacement surgeries.

Examining a list of factors designed in Europe to assess surgical validity, the scientists determined that knee replacement surgery should only be used when osteoarthritis was fully developed.

“This means not just severe pain but also impaired physical function,” explained Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times, “like an inability to climb stairs, get out of a chair or walk without aid.”

The VCU team also argued that the replacements were typically a better solution when patients were at least 66 years old, since the artificial knee typically degrades in about 20 years – meaning that surgeries would have to be repeated during the lifetime of younger patients.

Finally, they looked at a previous analysis of 200 adults who were suffering from knee pain and eventually had the joint replaced. One of out every three patients in that study had mild arthritis and were inappropriately selected for the total knee replacement operations, the team found.

Typical complications

Complications associated with total knee replacement surgery include:

  • Anesthesia-related complications – Adverse effects of anesthesia range from nerve injury to vocal cord injury, from latex allergic reactions to dental trauma. General anesthesia may also induce an irregular heartbeat.
  • Blood clots – Surgery makes it likelier that you will experience a blood clot. “That’s because the clotting process is stimulated as your body attempts to stop the bleeding and close the surgical wound,” said Samuel Greengard of Healthline. “The surgical procedure may stimulate clots to form in error in blood vessels, which then may block the normal flow of blood.”
  • Infections – Infections are of particular concern to individuals diagnosed with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, due to their more vulnerable immune systems.

Relieving knee pain without surgery

Are you considering surgery for your knee pain? Since thousands of knee replacement surgeries are unnecessary, you owe it to yourself to explore all the non-surgical options we have available.

Our board-certified physicians provide treatments that eliminate the need for surgery and restore normal joint function. >>> The Flexogenix Difference

46 Comments
  1. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Trisha Taris

    My father is 81 years old and in constant pain with his knee. I am very interested in your injections for him. My question for you is how often do they need to be done?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Whalen

      Hi Trisha! It really depends on the patient. Our physician can meet with him and provide a consultation and evaluation without any obligation. Simply call us at 1-800-OK-KNEE-2 or schedule online at flexogenix.com.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Francisco Morales

      Me dijeron que nesecito sirugia por que ek menisco esta roto ,ustedes pueden aliviarme?
      Por favor contactenme pronto.

      • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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        The Flexogenix® Team

        Hola Francisco, nosotros tenemos tratamientos para meniscos. Llámanos al 1-888-YES-FLEX para programar su consulta personal gratis o para más información.

  2. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Gloria Houston

    I have severe osteo in both knees.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Whalen

      Call us at 1-800-OK-KNEE-2 or schedule online at flexogenix.com.

  3. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    LESLEY MCCLEERY

    I had a partial hip replacement done six years ago. I am now experiencing problem radiating down my leg – mostly in the thigh – this upon rising, walking, dancing and standing for too long. The prosthesis was cemented in the femor. Would this PRP treatment work for me?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Whalen

      Hi Lesley. We have a variety of treatment options at our clinic. Feel free to schedule a personal consultation by calling 1-800-OK-KNEE-2 or online at ‪flexogenix.com‬

  4. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Mary Blakeney

    Hi, I’m a 47 year old female with severe OA. I done took every pain pill, injections, all types of gels. The doctors from Monroe said my only option is a total knee replacement. It’s bone on bone with Spurs every where. The Orthro. Specialist said first I have to loose weight. I was at 397 lbs and got down to 306. But I’m trying so hard to loose more but I feel it’s impossible due to the severity of my knees. The Doc. Insist on me getting a gastric by pass so that I can get a total knee replacement. I don’t won’t to go that route. So, do I have any other options and do u feel I may be a candidate for this flexogenix. Please help. My life is miserable. I can barley walk, stand, or do any thing. With the grace of God I still have Faith. Thanks

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Mogannam

      Hi Mary! I do believe you can be a good candidate for our treatments, but we can only know for sure after our physician meets with you for a consultation and evaluation, which is free and without any obligation. Please call us at 1-800-MY-KNEE-0 to get this scheduled!

  5. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    jenee Rogers

    Im 44, very physically active at with and play. My knee is stage 5, complete “cushion loss” bone on bone , and my Dr says I’m too young TKR and says i should continue the cortisone shots till I’m at least 50.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Mogannam

      Hi Jenee! I strongly recommend that you come in for a personal consultation, without any obligation, so that we can evaluate your condition. Please call us at 1-800-OK-KNEE-2 or schedule online at flexogenix.com

  6. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Jennifer Giambra

    In had my acl. And meniscus replaced 13 years ago and had no problems since.. I’m 34 ans have arthritis. Mostly painful in cold weather. I was told it was reconsticrive knee surgery.. so slightly different bit definitely an improvement. When I tore my Acl. My knee would dislocate.. when the went in to repaint the ligament, it was no where to be found.. so I got a cadaver. Scarriest day of my life!! But well worth the surgery.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Jennifer Giambra

      I now fear that I may need to have my pins a bolts replced.. in fear that they are growing out of my bone vs. My bone fusing to it.. is this possible?

      • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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        Dr. Mogannam

        Hi Jennifer! We would be happy to discuss the treatments options with you and further explore your concerns. You can call us at 1-800-OK-KNEE-2 or schedule online at ‪flexogenix.com‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  7. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Andrew Tafoya

    Bone on bone. R knee. 2 operations arthroscopic. Pain swelling daily

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Whalen

      Hi Andrew. We would be happy to discuss our treatments options with you. You can call us at 1-800-OK-KNEE-2 or schedule online at ‪flexogenix.com‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Brenda

      Andrew did you get relief from the flexogenics
      this is Brenda and I have the same problem the want me to have a partial knee

  8. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    duain preitz

    I want to know more . please call me at 661-433-8390

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Duain! I passed your information to our office and they will be in touch with you soon.

  9. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Allen Hennings

    My mom had Knee surgery and Died from the Blood clots. Have you ever heard of that? Now I need a replacement for myself and I am scared as heck to have it.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      Dr. Whalen

      Hi Allen! I’m very sorry to hear that. At Flexogenix we believe that surgery should always be the last option and have had amazing results with our patients! I strongly recommend that you schedule a personal consultation so that we can analyze your specific condition. Simply call us at 1-800-MY-KNEE-0 or fill out the form on flexogenix.com. Hope to see you soon!

  10. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Elsie

    I have bone on bone with severe OA in my right knee and am told I need TKR. I’ve had injections pain shots and everything in between and nothing worked. I would like to know more about your treatment thank you

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Elsie! We have several treatment options for all stages of osteoarthritis, and have had great success with our patients over the years. Our physician can meet with you and provide a consultation and evaluation without any obligation. Simply call us at 1-888-YES-FLEX to schedule an appointment!

  11. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Pamela

    I wish I had know about you before I had my procedure 3 years ago. What a mistake.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Sorry to hear that, Pamela. We do have a treatment called cryoneuromodulation that can be performed on a knee replacement. Feel free to contact us at 1-888-YES-FLEX if you’re interested in learning more!

  12. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Carolyn H. Bolt

    Endured TKR on right knee July, 2015. As of this date, still taking PT. Now my left knee is giving me problems, and I will not have another surgery.
    Interested in the procedure to help surgery knee, and hopefully, help left knee.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Carolyn! We do have a treatment called cryoneuromodulation that can be performed on a knee replacement, as well as a treatment designed to help you avoid surgery on your other knee. Please call us at 1-888-YES-FLEX to schedule a personal consultation.

  13. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Peggy Poston

    Do you accept Tricare Medical Insurance?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Peggy, We do accept Tricare insurance at our clinics. For more information or to schedule a personal consultation please call 1-888-YES-FLEX.

  14. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Bill

    Are your treatments covered under Medicare (specifically Humana Medicare Advantage)?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Bill, we do accept Medicare! Please contact the clinic directly at 1-888-YES-FLEX for more information on your specific plan.

  15. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Joseph

    Will your Greensboro office accept United Health Care?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Joseph, please call 1-888-YES-FLEX for specific insurance information for the Greensboro office.

  16. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Allison Bowers

    Would like a Consultation appointment. I am a candidate for Total Right Knee Replacement and I have Sickle Cell Anemia.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Allison, call 1-888-YES-FLEX to schedule a consultation, or simply fill out the form on our site flexogenix.com and one of our Patient Care Representatives will reach out to you.

  17. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Lottie M. Watkins

    How many treatment you get before complete healing of the knee

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix Team

      Hi Lottie, the length of treatment depends on the type of presenting condition and eventual treatment plan prescribed by the physician. We can better answer your question during the free initial consultation. You can schedule your consultation by calling 1-888-YES-FLEX or filling out the form on our site flexogenix.com

  18. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Sharonlyn Reese

    I am a 57 year old female with osterarthritis. I have been experiencing severe knee pain for two years now. I ve had cortizone shots and supartz gel injections. I am told that I need TKR,but I want to know more about your Flexogenix first. I have sent my email info. I can drive from Atlanta to Charlotte NC. I have Blue cross and Blue Shield. Please help me if you can!
    Sharonlyn

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix® Team

      Hi Sharonlyn, we would be happy to help you! Please give us a call at 888-YES-FLEX and we can schedule you for a free personal consultation and determine what treatment would work best for your specific condition. We’re looking forward to speaking with you!

  19. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Susan Parker

    Hello, I’m currently seeing Dr. George Azar in Thomasville, NC. I have osteoarthritis in both knees but my right one is in the worst shape. I’ve already had meniscal tear repaired on my right knee and cortisone shots and a synvisc-one injection. The pain has returned again and now I’m being told that the next option is to have either a partial or full knee replacement surgery. I’m only 47 and I’m worried about having knee replacement right now. Because I can’t stand any more pain. Its keeping from being able to walk and it’s caused me to gain weight all because I can’t walk like I used to. Please help me. I have United Health y and I hope that my insurance will be accepted.

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix® Team

      Hi Susan, we would love to help! Please call us at 888-YES-FLEX to speak with our Patient Care Representative, who will be able to go over your insurance coverage and schedule you in for a free personal consultation.

  20. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    K.Smith

    Dr’s requested total knee surg. Went to Flexogenix for the flex 5 treatment. Took injections both knees for total of 5 weeks. Not much help. Do you think that the Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell would work with my condition? About what time frame for treatment if I go this route ? ALSO will Medicare and Mutual of Omaha ins. cover this ?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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      The Flexogenix® Team

      Hi K.Smith, please give us a call at 888-YES-FLEX so that we can review your records and discuss treatment options that can help you. We can also go over insurance coverage and answer any other question that you may have.

  21. Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen
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    Pat

    I have Kaiser Permanente insurance- do you accept this & do they cover very much?

    • Avatar for Dr. Sean Whalen

      Hi, Pat! Please call us at 888-YES-FLEX to speak with one of our Patient Care Representatives, who will be happy to review insurance benefits and network coverage with you.

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