The current and popular practice of total knee replacement (TKR) as performed in the US on patients with knee osteoarthritis has been shown to have minimal effects on quality of life in a new study. The research findings, published in the March 2017 issue of the British Medical Journal, looked at almost 5000 patients with, or at high risk for, knee osteoarthritis (confirmed by baseline radiography) aged 45-79 and with no previous knee replacement. Study participants were followed for nine years. These findings call into the question the necessity of many total joint replacement procedures, especially when attractive non-surgical alternatives are available.
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability world-wide, and can cause pain, limited range of motion, and decreased quality of life. The disease onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40. About 12% of adults in the US are affected.
The annual rate of total knee replacement in the US has doubled since 2000, particularly in the 45-64 year old age group. The total number of procedures performed each year now exceeds 640 000, at a total annual cost of about $10.2 billion. The dramatic increase in surgery has been attributed to expanding the eligibility for surgery to people with less severe symptoms.
More concerning, however, is the fact that up to a third of patients who undergo a TKR experience chronic pain postoperatively, and as many as 20% of TKR surgeries do not have a favorable outcome.
Here at Valley Sports Physicians our PRP and Stem Cell procedures can be excellent non-surgical alternatives to TKR. We have an 80-90% success rate, and no one has ever been made worse as a result of treatment. Contact us to find out if Regenerative Medicine treatments can help with your knee (or hip, shoulder, ankle) arthritis pain!