When pain in one of your joints gets so bad that you’re seriously considering replacement surgery, don’t commit to that until you’ve fully explored your options. A joint replacement should be your absolute last resort. If there are other, alternative treatment options—and for many people, there are—it pays to consider those first.
Is a Replacement Really Necessary?
In a pair of studies Virginia Commonwealth University professors analyzed the appropriateness of knee replacement operations for joint pain patients. They determined that TKR surgeries were only reasonable when both the levels of pain and usability were substantially impaired, as indicated by the symptoms of severe arthritis.
Integrating their own findings with those of a Spanish research project, the study authors also recommended that the operations typically be reserved for individuals aged 65 or above, since the joint prosthesis usually fails after about 20 years.
The research team looked at the medical records of more than 190 adults with osteoarthritis who were given knee replacements. About one in three were deemed to be inappropriate surgeries according to the researchers’ criteria. Shockingly, a large percentage of the people who were given unreasonable operations exhibited mild rather than severe arthritic symptoms.
Even in situations of advanced osteoarthritis—the reason most people end up getting a joint replaced—there are new treatments available that may prevent or postpone the need for a full replacement, allowing patients to avoid the expense, risk, discomfort and recovery time that comes with major surgery.
It’s worth mentioning that while joint replacements have become safer than in the past, many patients still end up worse off than they were before. It’s therefore hard to argue with the fact that an effective, non-invasive solution is a far better choice.
Know Your Treatment Options
What if there were joint treatment alternatives that not only improved your mobility and reduced your pain, but actually helped your body heal itself? Does that sound appealing—but unrealistic? It isn’t. This type of therapy is available right now. Let’s explore some of the treatment options that have been developed that might make a joint replacement unnecessary for you.
Hyaluronic acid. This lubricant occurs naturally in our bodies and reduces friction caused by the bones rubbing on each other. However, with age, this substance can diminish, creating pain and wear on the joints. Sometimes a physician will opt to use a corticosteroid injection to provide immediate relief, but this does not solve the underlying problem.
VisCare-Flex® is a treatment offered by Flexogenix® that replaces this important fluid to help nourish the joint and significantly reduce pain. It requires no down time the way surgery does, and most people can walk out of the clinic and drive themselves home. Over a period of 6 to 8 months, the joint will typically continue to improve.
The beauty of this method is that hyaluronic acid naturally occurs within the body and is safe to use as a treatment option.
Regenerative therapy. Cells are special insofar as they can develop into any type of cell within our bodies—even cartilage. They’re very useful for repairing an injury. However, the problem we experience as we age is that our bodies may not have enough of these cells in the right places available to do the job of repairing the protective covering of the joint.
There are different kinds of regenerative therapy, but the experienced joint specialists at Flexogenix® know that the safest and most effective type involves taking your own cells and carefully targeting the problem area with them. Unlike using donor cells or an imprecise method of delivery, this Progeni-Flex™ procedure has proven to be a highly effective regenerative technique, allowing your body to recreate the cells it needs to improve joint flexibility and reduce pain.
One under-utilized method to avoid knee replacement surgery is the addition of physical conditioning and exercise to your daily routine. People who are experiencing pain in their knee joint tend to rest it, spending increased amounts of time inactive in attempts to relieve the pain.
Unfortunately, the opposite is true - strengthening the muscles around the damaged joint, which stabilizes and supports it, through careful cardio and calisthenics can contribute to tremendous pain relief.
Note: it is important to always consult with your physician before beginning any new sort of exercise routine.
Anyone considering knee replacement surgery will have faster, easier recoveries if they strengthen the muscles around their knee before their procedure. However, physical therapy after a knee surgery can be required for an additional 4-5 months.
Interested in Your Non-Surgical Knee Pain Treatments Options?
If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain and are considering having joint replacement surgery, the experts at Flexogenix® are here to help. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation and let us show you how our non-surgical solutions can help you avoid a risky joint replacement surgery altogether! We will review all options for treatment and give you all of the information that you need to decide whether our non-surgical solutions are a good fit for you.