09 May Can Knee Replacement Surgery Be Avoided?
WHEN DOES A KNEE HAVE TO BE REPLACED?
Knee replacements are the most commonly performed joint replacements, very close with Hips. Knees are very crucial in the bodies day to day motion and endure a great deal of stress throughout the process. Arthritis is the result of this wear and tear on the joint and is a literal breakdown of the cartilage material that otherwise effectively supports a healthy knee when present. Arthritis comes in three stages which can be diagnosed off an x-ray and physical exam. The final stage, stage three, is when the x-rays show “bone on bone” or close to it. This indicates that the majority of cartilage material has worn out. Typically when a person has this and non manageable pain, is when they would qualify for a total knee replacement.
ARE KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERIES DANGEROUS?
Well this is tricky question because it depends on who you ask. While knee replacements may be the “safest” joint replacement surgery, that certainly doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with great risks to consider. In a journal from the American College of Rheumatology: “In 17,994 primary TKAs (total knee replacements), there were 46 and 220 deaths at 30 days and 1 year”! That is 1 out of every 391 people dead by 30 days! This is certialy a much bigger risk then some may lead you to believe! For successful operations; the next thing to consider is how long they will last for. Depending on what source you review, it appears the consensus may be that around 90% of people will get a decent 10 to 15 years out of them. What about the other 10%?! No one seems to do much talking about them. Many of these 10% are forced to undergo many more surgeries in hopes of becoming that 90% in which many cases never make it there. Many patients are stuck with an artificial knee that performs not better than prior. What about people undergoing these procedures in their 50s or even 60s? Surely this means multiple replacements for each joint in their lifetime. And with each total replacement means going through the same gamble of making it out unscathed!
WHAT IS THE COST OF KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Out the door, patients are looking at $50,000+ for these types of surgeries. Yes insurance will cover, but with rising deductibles, many are having to pay a hefty out of pocket. Of course many also don’t have to pay much, that all just depends on how good your insurance plan is at the time.
WHAT ARE COMMON COMPLICATIONS POST KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
There are a number of common complications when it comes to Knee Replacements and TKA’s. It’s easy to see why 1 out of every 391 recipients of this surgery won’t make it out! These complications from surgery include but are not limited to:
- Deep Venous Thrombosis (2.4%)
- Pulmonary embolism (.3%)
- Major System Complications (2.3%)
- Cardiovascular events (.6%)
- Respiratory events (.4%)
- Urinary Tract Infection (.3%)
- Cardiovascular Events (.1%)
- Acute Renal Failure (.2%)
- Others* (.2%)
- Fever without infection (.2%)
- Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (.1%)
- Mortality (.1%)
- Local Complications (1%)
- Deep wound infection (.1%)
- Superficial wound infection and/or delayed wound healing (.7%)
- Peripheral nerve injury (.2%)
*Others: Vascular injury, gastrointestinal complication, blood transfusion related complication, and so on.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MANAGE YOUR KNEE PRIOR TO KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
This is so crucial as the key to preventing or delaying this surgery is all in how you take care of your body starting at a young age! Sadly the healthcare system in America doesn’t concern itself too much with prevention as it’s a very symptom based system looking at drugs for the primary course of action. Following your standard MD’s recommendations, here is what you would likely expect:
1. NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and or physical therapy recommendations.
NSAIDs carry great risks that are almost always overlooked.
Physical therapy is a much better alternative but for most all it can do is slow down the inevitable breakdown process.
2. This is when MDs gravitate towards corticosteroid injections.
These are powerful localized injections of steroids that can be very effective for pain management. The problem with these are that steroids are actually destructive to tissue. They will often get into the habit of routinely performing these injections 2-3x a year. Does it make sense to you to inject something into your knee for pain management that is arising from breakdown with a substance that actually breaks it down faster?
3. This is where we get to the surgical consult and replacement options.
Many opt to never do it and choose to live with the pain and little to no quality of life out of fear of the repercussion…
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT THE BREAKDOWN OF THE KNEE AND AVOID KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY
This begins at a young age and consists of taking care of your body. Structurally speaking, chiropractic has been shown to be effective not just with your spine but outside of the spine as well. In our clinic we utilize Advanced Biostructural Correction to treat the underlying stressors affecting the body as a whole, not just knees.
Additionally, the food you eat is probably the 2nd biggest factor. Following the premise of a more anti-inflammatory diet will help mitage arthritis as arthritis itself is an inflammatory process.
When knees get the 2nd stage we recommend using PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma. This is where we draw your blood, spin it down and isolate the growth factors and inject them back into your knee, or any joint needed for that matter.
It’s our opinion that prevention starts at an early stage and anyone younger reading this should strongly consider taking actions to take care of their body. For people currently getting close to needing that replacement
WHAT IS STEM CELL RECRUITMENT THERAPY? (KNEE REPLACEMENT ALTERNATIVES)
Stem Cell Recruitment Therapy™ (aka SCR) is a revolutionary procedure to help rejuvenate and regenerate ailing joints, repair soft tissue damage, and increase mobility while decreasing pain. Responsibly sourced amniotic fluid is helping people of all ages to recover from injuries and get their life back. By using a combination of growth factors and other endogenously synthesized molecules, Stem Cell Recruitment Therapy™ helps to reconstruct and regenerate new, healthy tissue without surgery.
IS STEM CELL RECRUITMENT THERAPY COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Stem Cell Recruitment is covered by Medicare and Tricare insurances! This is a huge four population of people who need this therapy the most. Please reach out to schedule a consultation and see if you qualify.