More than 600,000 people opt for total knee replacements in the United States annually, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. But unfortunately, knee replacement surgery is not the magic fix it’s hoped to be. Not only are the costs, risks, and arduous recovery major considerations against the procedure, but more than 54,000 patients have their replacements replaced every year. When it comes to knee replacement surgery or non-surgical knee pain treatments, how do your options stack up?
The Knife May Not Be Necessary
When it comes to avoiding knee replacement surgery, it’s imperative to get those second opinions to determine if the procedure is even really necessary. Researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond analyzed data from a study of both women and men who had knee replacement surgery. They determined that a THIRD of patients were not even good candidates for the procedure and could expect only a marginal improvement in joint function. “If you have the surgery, but it’s actually a problem of nerve pain, hip pain, or circulation, it’s not going to help you,” said Claudette Lajam, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases. Seeking an accurate diagnosis for the source of pain will help you with determining the best non-surgical approach for treatment.
A Weighty Consideration
A major contributor to the rising knee surgery statistics is not only an aging population, but also an increasingly overweight one. Eric Matteson, M.D., chair of the rheumatology division at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, stated, “Weight plays an important role in joint stress, so when people are very overweight, it puts stress on their joints, especially […] the knees and the hips.” With every excess pound of body weight exerting an extra four pounds of pressure on the knees, it’s easy to see how those unwanted pounds can lead to unwanted pain. Whether you’re considering knee surgery or looking for a non-surgical knee pain treatments, losing those extra pounds will be a necessity. Utilizing anti-gravity technology, like the Zero G-Flex treadmill, can assist with physical conditioning and weight loss and contribute to far less pain and inflammation.
One under-utilized method to avoid knee replacement surgery is the addition of physical conditioning and physical therapies to your daily routine. People who are experiencing pain in their knee joint tend to rest it, spending increasing amounts of time inactive in attempts to ease the pain. Unfortunately, the opposite is true—strengthening the muscles around the damaged joint and stabilizing and supporting it through careful cardio and calisthenics can contribute to tremendous pain relief. Anyone considering knee replacement surgery will have faster, easier recoveries, if they strengthen the muscles around their knees beforehand. However, physical therapy following a knee surgery can be required for an additional 4-5 months.
Weighing Your Non-Surgical Knee Pain Treatments Options?
At Flexogenix®, we’ll work with you to provide fast and effective pain relief, and our professional staff will create a treatment plan including safe, non-surgical alternatives for treating your joint pain at the source. Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!