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Knee Surgery Should Be The Last Option for Treating Severe Arthritis Knee Pain

Posted Jun 13 2010 3:00pm

Over the years, I’ve consulted with hundreds of patients suffering with severe arthritis knee pain who have wanted to try every non-surgical option before entertaining the idea of arthroscopic knee surgery or total knee replacements.   However, I'm always surprised when patients skip basic, conservative, non-invasive care and jump right into knee surgery.

Recently, I read a paper written by doctors from England about managing patients that have undergone total knee replacements and are still having knee pain.   The orthopedic doctors in the paper recommended   that patients who continued to have knee pain after    having a total knee replacement should be managed and treated conservatively rather than undergoing a revision operation (since it is rare that a patient undergoing a second knee operation will respond well).    Pain management, according to these doctors should include a multidisciplinary, conservative approach in order to address a patient’s pain and underlying problem.

After reading this paper, I started to wonder if these doctors recommended conservative, multidisciplinary care to these patients prior to surgery being performed, or did they do what most knee surgeons do, and recommend only knee surgery? 

  This article also made me wonder about the future of these patients.    Afterall, they had undergone irreversible, unsuccessful total knee replacement surgery and were still hurting.   I wish I could sit down with each of these patients and ask them questions.   For instance, I wonder what kind of expectations they had prior to undergoing knee surgery?   Did they believe that knee surgery would make their knee feel 20 years young again? Did they think the rehabilitation would be easy? I wonder what their knee surgeons told them to prep them emotionally for knee surgery?   Did the surgeon suggest that their knee would be ‘brand new’ in just a few weeks? 

I often ask patients who have successfully completed our Cold Laser Knee Program and have gotten 50-90% better with treatments why they didn’t  call us prior to knee surgery being performed.   Especially since cold laser therapy is safe, non-invasive and very effective for treating arthritic knee problems.  Most of the time they respond by telling me that their doctor  recommended only knee surgery to them,  and  they never thought about other options until after the surgery was completed and they were still hurting.  At that point the surgeon didn't know what to do for them so they were left on their own to find a solution, and that is how they found out about cold laser therapy. 

Knee surgery should be the last option for treating severe arthritis knee pain.  Always try conservative treatments such as cold laser therapy first before undergoing knee surgery. 

If you’re not ready to undergo knee surgery and you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the knee, bone on bone, a baker’s cyst, meniscus tear, tendonitis, bursitis or if you’ve had knee surgery and    have post-surgical knee pain then find a doctor who only treats chronic knee problems and specializes in cold laser therapy.   If you live in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving or surrounding areas you can find out more about Dr. Alexandra Schnee, B.S., D.C. by going to her website   and requesting a free 16 page report.

Dr. Alexandra K. Schnee, B.S.,D.C.,-Your Cold Laser Professional for the Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas Area-“Helping People with Knee Pain and Joint Pain in the Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding areas since 2001.”

1.  Toms AD,Mandalia V,Haigh R,Hopwood B.J Bone Joint Surg Br.The management of patients with painful total knee replacements.2009 Feb; 91(2):143-50.
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