Knee Surgery

Thinking about Knee Surgery? You may not need it.

When it comes to knee pain, surgery is not always the right answer. A recent study found that an alarming number of total knee replacements (TKRs) are unnecessary.

A common misconception we hear from patients is that they think they don’t have any options other than knee replacement surgery. We are always happy to inform them this is not the case. Below are just some of the dimensions that non-surgical treatments outperform replacement surgery in.

Downsides of Knee Replacement

  • Cost– Depending on if you need one knee replaced or two, it can cost between $49,000 and $100,000. This does not include the cost of rehab, which averages $13,897 according to a study by The Orthopaedic Institute.

    Knee Surgery

  • Complications/Safety/Scarring -Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is considered a procedure with a high risk of complications such as the formation of blood clots, infection of the prosthesis, or nerve damage. TKR also leaves unsightly scarring.
  • Length of hospitalization– Patients remain hospitalized 3-7 days after the operation. This is much longer than even some of the most cutting edge regenerative treatments such as Stem cell therapy, which only requires the patient be at the clinic for 2-3 hours.
  • Outcome – Around 30 percent of patients undergoing Total Knee Replacement (TKR) have some level of persisting knee pain and a significant number of patients report poor knee function. A recent article looked at thousands of patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) from two different studies, Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST). The patients were monitored for four to nine years and it was found that knee replacement surgery did not significantly improve quality of life or the lifespan of patients. It was previously believed that knee replacement had a greater impact on quality of life.
  • Time to recuperate – It can take patients 2-12 months to be able to function completely normally after surgery.

What are the alternatives?

Patients are often surprised to learn there are several effective non-surgical treatment options available:

Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP):

  • PRP Therapy is a safe, non-surgical procedure which offers relief and healing to athletes and active individuals, who endure knee pain from overuse or a past injury.
  • It’s also been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for knee osteoarthritis.
  • This cutting-edge treatment uses platelets from a person’s own blood to accelerate healing of damaged tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
  • PRP is a simple procedure, performed in less than an hour at the Reflex office.

Joint fluid therapy:

  • Reflex’s joint fluid therapy treatments are administered as a series of weekly knee injections typically over a 3-4 week period.
  • Injections are guided by cutting-edge ultrasound technology.
  • Patients will typically experience pain reduction starting about 8 weeks after the injection series.
  • The results can last for several months to a full year.
  • The injections can have a compounding effect, producing better results after each additional series.


  • An off-loading brace is worn for a few hours a day during weight-bearing activities.
  • While on, the brace relieves pressure over the area of greatest damage inside your knee and helps realign the joint 
  • Research has shown that consistent use of an off-loading brace can increase exercise capacity, reduce the risk of falling, and improve overall outcomes when combined with other treatments offered at Reflex

Physical Therapy:

  • When a person experiences pain or suffers an injury, compensation patterns develop in order to avoid pain or make up for the loss of function caused by a prior injury
  • Compensation patterns affect the way we stand, walk, and move
  • When our movement patterns are no longer symmetric, other areas of the kinetic chain (such as hips, low back, or ankles) are affected and can cause new problems due to compensation patterns
  • The physical therapists at Reflex are experts in detecting compensatory changes early, before patients even realize that they have an area of their body that is no longer moving or functioning properly
  • A Physical Therapy evaluation with one of our therapists will detect areas in your body that are not moving or functioning properly 
  • A customized physical therapy plan will help restore proper movement and optimize the way you move, preventing even worse problems from developing

Bottom Line

Knee replacement surgery is a very expensive, time consuming, and irreversible decision. Wouldn’t it be better if your knee(s) could become pain-free without such an invasive treatment? At Reflex, we’ve helped thousands of people do just that. Why not get a second opinion and see if a non-surgical treatment plan is something to consider before going to surgery?   Our goal is to help people avoid regretting knee surgery and wishing they would have tried other treatments first.

Call us to learn more about how the knee specialists at Reflex can help relieve your knee pain. Schedule your initial evaluation today.