March 13, 2017
How can you delay knee replacement surgery?

 By Dr. Ryan Geringer

Impact of Surgery

There are 500,000 Knee Replacement surgeries each year that provide exceptional results for most patients. Do not let the prevalence of the procedure lead you to believe the surgery is simple. Total knee replacements are some of the most difficult surgeries and involve significant trauma to the body.  Besides the cost and the substantial post-operative pain, the procedure can require 3 months of vigorous physical therapy. It can also take up to a full year to completely recover. Plus, knee surgeries carry with them possible complications such as blood clots and infection.  It’s little wonder that people put off having these surgeries as long as possible.

Other Options

In many cases, total knee replacement surgery is indeed required.  But for many people with knee pain, there is a wide range of non-invasive treatments that doctors can recommend.  The Osteoarthritis Society provides a thorough list of strategies that work, and those that don’t. [1] The universally accepted and most important therapies for knee pain are exercise (both on land and in water), strength training and being at a healthy weight.  Beyond that, The Osteoarthritis Society recommends the following treatments:

  • steroidal shots
  • topical analgesic creams
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) (e.g. Advil)
  • supports
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • prescription drug Duloxetine. 

The best non-pharmacological treatment is physical therapy.  Many treatments simply suggest just over the counter drugs, but in reality, a full range of treatment modalities is required to relieve pain and induce healing. It is the compounding and consistent use of these therapies that produces relief.

Importance of Physical Therapy and Excercise

The combined therapies of physical therapy, joint support, cold, and analgesics are the recommended non-surgical options according to the Osteoarthritis Society. These solutions can be created and dispensed through a properly trained orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. However, if you have limited time Pains and Strains provides you with complete therapy kits for Knee Osteoarthritis, shipped directly to you. These kits are designed to empower you with the key fundamentals of recovery.  In each kit, there is a Freeze Sleeve which eases pain with cold therapy and light compression, all while you go about your daily activities.  It also has a specially crafted physical therapy plan created by our licensed physical therapist, Mike Verplancke. 

To complete the physical therapy, the kits include resistance exercise bands and a stretch strap to get your strength back and achieve a full range of motion. The osteoarthritis and meniscus kits contains a best in class knee brace specifically designed to keep your knee supported, aligned, and ready for action. Finally, every kit contains a bottle of Fast Freeze, a pain-relieving spray for overused muscles or irritated joints.

Knee replacement surgery should be the last options for those dealing with pain from Knee Osteoarthritis.  Thankfully,  with the correct combinations of therapies, you can achieve relief!

 *Information contained in the blog is designed for educational purposes only and does not replace or constitute physicians advice. 

[1] McAlindon, T. E., Bannuru, R. R., Sullivan, M. C., Arden, N. K., Berenbaum, F., Bierma-Zeinstra, S. M., & ... Underwood, M. (2014). OARSI guidelines for the non-surgical management of knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis And Cartilage, 22(3), 363-388. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2014.01.003

Joe McClung

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