An FDA Approved Treatment For Osteoarthritis That May
Eliminate The Need For Total Knee Replacement Surgery
By Physicians Rehabilitation –
Osteoarthritis is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries (WHO, 2012). Worldwide estimates are that 10% of men and 18% of women aged over 60 years have symptomatic osteoarthritis, including moderate and severe forms. It is estimated by the year 2030, 72 million Americans will be at high risk for osteoarthritis.
As the general population ages, more and more baby boomers are opting for knee replacement surgery earlier in life. The reason being that boomers are more active than any previous generation. They want to continue playing their favorite sports, run and dance with the same level of intensity as they are used to.
Previously, knee replacement surgeries were only performed on very old patients who were crippled with osteoarthritis and severely hindering their daily activities. “Now patients in their 40s and 50s are experiencing an earlier onset of osteoarthritis that affects their daily lives,” says J. David Blaha, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Michigan Health System. In fact, the number of boomers opting to go under the knife for early knee replacement is growing at an alarming rate.
One major concern for orthopedic surgeons is the longevity of the knee implant. Due to the fact that most joint replacements have been performed primarily on older patients, there isn’t a lot of data to show how these implants hold up in younger people, who will engage in more activities and have them over longer periods of time.
Even though orthopedic surgeons are using newer and better materials and techniques, they remain dubious about their improvement in durability. They are uncertain how the knee replacements will hold up over time, especially since some plastics used have only been out there for several years.
Younger knee replacement patients may need to get a new replacement in as little as 5 to 10 years, which is a concern. “It gets more complicated with each revision,” says Michael R. Baumgaertner, M.D., professor of orthopedic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. “Every time it has to be redone, there is more bone loss.”
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
A total knee replacement surgery is a medical procedure designed to replace weight-bearing surfaces of a knee joint. The surgeon cuts away bone, cartilage and ligaments of a diseased knee-joint, and replaces them with an artificial joint made of an alloy of cobalt, chrome or titanium, and a plastic compound called polyethylene. The entire surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours without any complications. However, recovery from total knee replacement surgery is bound to take much longer.
How Long Is Recovery From Surgery?
There are several factors that influence your recovery, such as, your age, medical history, level of fitness and the severity of the problem. Once the surgery is complete, your doctor will keep you under observation in the hospital for around 3 days.
Most patients experience severe pain after knee replacement surgery. In fact, for the next two weeks or so, you’ll need to use a cane or a walker in order to move about. Your activities will be kept to a minimum during this time since you cannot exert too much force on your knee. Many still experience pain during this time, and must resort to using painkillers in order to find relief. The duration of pain differs for each person but doctors claim you will find natural relief within 3 months of surgery with ongoing physical therapy.
How Much Does Surgery Cost?
The United States has among the highest costs in the world for knee replacement surgery. An American with no health insurance can expect to pay $45,000 – $70,000 at a typical hospital. Even with insurance, there are still costly deductible and co-pays that must be paid.
It’s about MORE than JUST Knee Pain.
“I have had two knee replacements with no results! I still have pain on the knee and it is always swollen. It is difficult to even go down a stair because I can’t bend my knee properly. It’s been almost 5 years since my last surgery, and I am still having problems with my knee to the point that I went back to my orthopedic surgeon and he said there was nothing he could do. I don’t think any one should live with pain! I am 52 years old and am disabled due to the horrible knee pain.” – Nora B.
Knee replacement surgery is not a quick fix, and it is not without risks. Serious complications such as blood clots and infections can occur. In addition, the road to recovery can be difficult and time consuming, particularly with joint replacement surgery.
If you or a loved one are considering or scheduled for knee replacement surgery, all you have to do is call (239) 768-6396 right now and ask for your “NO-COST, NO-OBLIGATION Knee Pain Screening.” During this consultation you can get all of your questions answered in a warm and friendly environment. Once complete, you will know exactly what your treatment options are and if Hyalgan therapy and our specialized rehab program is right for you.
What Are The Long Term Effects, Years After Surgery?
The following are some facts that you should consider before undergoing knee replacement surgery:
. Kneeling may be problematic. It can hurt to put weight on metal knees, even on a cushion, making activities like gardening a challenge.
. Falling or banging an artificial knee can hurt a lot more and last far longer than you might expect.
. Going down steep steps can be difficult and may require using a sideways, one-foot approach. This is because a normal knee bends at an angle of 145 degrees, but replaced knees often achieve only 120 degrees, if that. Sitting on the floor cross-legged may be impossible.
. Despite months of physical therapy and the passage of time, residual discomfort may still be experienced.
. Since most artificial knees are metal, they may set off the security alarm at airports, requiring a personal scan with a wand.
. Some patients require a surgical revision within two years of a replacement because of technical problems like instability or poor alignment of the new joint.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Surgery?
. Infection: An infection can occur a few weeks after the surgery or even a few years later. Infections are serious complications that may require the implants to be removed followed by weeks of antibiotic treatment.
. Stiffness: After surgery, your body naturally produces a scar. When the ligaments around the knee contract, the tissues around the knee joint begin to tighten up. This makes it extremely difficult for you to do things that requires you to bend your knee, such as, sitting down and using stairs. If the stiffness continues for prolonged periods of time, your doctor may have to place you under anesthesia again to break up the scar tissue.
. Blood Clots: Blood clots are the most common complication of this type of surgery. The clots can form in the veins in your leg and pelvis after surgery. If they remain there, it is usually not much of a problem, but it is possible for them to travel through the heart and to the lungs. This leads to a condition known as pulmonary embolism, which is potentially fatal if not treated promptly.
. Loosening: Some implants last longer than others, but all of them eventually wear out and loosen. This is a common problem experienced by younger patients because they live longer and usually stress the implanted joints more. The follow-up surgery to repair the implant is more complicated and will further decrease the lifespan of the implant.