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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.
  • 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:

Stem Cell Transplantation

  • Stem cell therapy uses the body’s own regenerative mechanisms to slow down the inflammation process, and potentially heal damaged tissue through cartilage regeneration.
  • At Reflex, we take stem cells from adipose (fat) tissue, combine them with PRP and transplant them to damaged areas of the knee(s) using cutting-edge ultrasound guidance.
  • This biocellular mixture provides the optimal cells and growth factors to promote cartilage repair.
  • The result is significant relief of chronic knee pain, increased mobility, and much longer-term effects than other therapies.
  • Compared to surgical treatments, this procedure has minimal down time. Most people are able to return to their job or daily activities within a week following the procedure.

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.

Bracing:

  • An off-loading brace is worn for a few hours a day during weight-bearing activities.
  • While on, the brace relieves pressure on the knee joint and helps re-align the joint and surrounding leg muscles.

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? We will let you know if knee surgery truly is your only option. 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 Reflex can relieve your knee pain. Schedule your initial evaluation: (503) 719-6783