Knee replacement surgery rates are on the rise, with the close of this decade marking a 44% increase over the decade previously. This is in part due to the aging of a large population (the Baby Boomers), but also because adults are staying active longer than ever, and wear and tear on joints leads to complications like osteoarthritis of the knees. Fortunately, advances in medicine have created some impressive alternatives to going under the knife for a replacement. Why should you delay surgery, and what are some alternatives for treating chronic or acute knee pain?
The Problems with Replacements
If you’ve been told that surgery is your only option for knee pain relief, you owe it to yourself to consider alternatives first. More than 680,000 people in the United States have total knee replacements annually, but a 2014 study determined that in as many as 34% of cases, the surgeries were deemed unnecessary for the patients. There are also a number of other factors to consider:
- Knee replacement surgeries are incredibly expensive (estimates are just under $50,000 for the hospital charge) and recovery can take up to 6months to 1 year.
- A up to 8% of knee surgeries fail within five years, requiring additional surgeries that still may not provide relief.
- Knee replacements only last up to a maximum of 20 years, so if you’re only in your 50s or 60s, you can expect additional complete replacement surgeries in your lifetime.
Alternatives to Surgery
Advances in medicine have contributed to incredible methods of treatment that alleviate the symptoms of knee pain and irritation at the source of the problem, without the need to undergo surgery and all its associated risks.
- Knee Injections can provide targeted relief of intense, acute pain, allowing for the physical therapies to help improve range of motion and strength.
- Low-dose steroid injections can be applied to specific areas in and around the knee to reduce inflammation, which will improve pain symptoms, circulation, and create a healing environment in the joint.
- Using Braces to strategically support a weak or injured knee joint can provide the necessary alignment that reduces pain and uneven wear while muscle strength and stability are developed.
- Laser Knee Therapy is an incredible option available at HealthStar Clinic and provides patients with deep tissue stimulation to decrease pain and inflammation, increase circulation, and to stimulate regeneration of the soft tissues in the joint.
Has Chronic Knee Pain Slowed You Down?
When it comes to chronic or acute knee pain, it can feel like your options for relief are limited, especially when more conservative treatment methods like therapy haven’t been effective. HealthStar Clinic has an incredible team of medical professionals to make sure your treatment plan is comprehensive and effective, and with the most advanced methodologies available. We’re focused on getting you back to your active lifestyle without the need for surgery. Contact us today to learn more about your options!