In the United States alone, more than 600,000 knee and 300,000 hip replacements are performed each year; predictions are that these numbers will rise dramatically in the coming decades. Most articles about joint replacement surgery explain that most patients see improvement. While that may be true, a significant number of people were left disappointed by their operation.
In a 2014 study published in The Bone and Joint Journal, one-third of patients reported that their knee did not feel normal after surgery. In addition, up to one-half of patients reported persistent symptoms or trouble with function.
In a study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 8444 surgical procedures were included for analysis. Major complications were reported in 14.4% of total knee arthroplasty patients. While minor complications were reported by 46.6% of total knee arthroplasty patients. Overall complication rates were 53.6% for total knee arthroplasty patients.
Researchers in the U.K. reported in The Bone and Joint Journal that 1 in 200 patients die within 90 days after a total knee replacement.
According to a study done by Blue Cross Blue Shield, a typical knee surgery costs $31,124 (Claims were reviewed in 64 different markets).
What other options do you have if surgery is something that your doctor is considering? One study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that physical therapy, combined with comprehensive medical management, is just as effective at relieving the pain and stiffness of moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee as surgery.
At REVIV, we offer PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) as a start to managing your knee pain without surgery. Several studies support PRP as the most promising treatment modality for pain management in knee osteoarthritis. Recent research has found positive treatment outcomes with PRP were demonstrated with improved knee pain scores in most studies.
On the other hand, the goal of total knee replacement surgery is pain relief. Still, there is a likelihood of pain persisting or worsening in many patients even if the surgery is done correctly.
Pain is the most significant reason for advising knee replacement surgery in patients with osteoarthritis. However, as PRP injection allows cartilage regrowth and pain reduction, it can be considered a treatment choice before surgical treatment.