Knee replacements are quickly turning into the biggest scam of the new century.
In 2014, a major study found that about a third of all total knee replacements aren’t actually needed.
And if you think THAT number is bad, wait, it gets worse. A more recent report estimated that up to 80 percent are entirely unnecessary.
I’ll explain how to spot when one of these knee surgeries is actually beneficial and when it’s not in a moment.
First, I’ve got the details on a new report for folks who do need the operation. It reveals one step that anyone who has knee surgery for any reason should take in the days and weeks after.
Because skipping this step could have significant consequences, in fact, it could even ruin your life.
The biggest problem after a knee replacement
Let’s assume for a moment that you are in the minority of patients who actually does need a knee replacement. Your pain is constant. You can barely move. And it’s only getting worse.
Most folks think they’ll practically hop right off the operating table and dance out the hospital door on their shiny new bionic knee. Eat your heart out, Steve Austin.
But that’s NOT how it works in reality.
Before it gets any better, it can get worse. Up to a third of patients struggle with intense chronic pain after knee surgery. And many docs are quick to prescribe opioid painkillers to “help.”
But there’s a way to cut your odds of needing those dangerous and often addictive drugs. Or a way to at least limit the meds to a brief period after the operation.
The solution is good old basic physical therapy.
Most folks ARE advised to go to physical therapy after a knee replacement, of course. But many are not good at sticking with it. And that’s a HUGE mistake.
Make sure you sign up, go to every session, and do EVERYTHING your physical therapist advises.
The new study finds physical therapy for six or more sessions within 30 days of a knee replacement operation will significantly cut your odds of long-term opioid use. You can even start the PT before the surgery and still get that benefit, researchers found.
But that’s not the only way to head off the need to start taking opioids. A study I shared with you a few weeks ago found electroacupuncture in the ears during knee surgery dramatically reduced opioid prescriptions too.
About two-thirds of patients who had the acupuncture could limit or avoid the painkillers, versus just nine percent of the ones who didn’t.
Do you REALLY need a total knee replacement?
But as I mentioned earlier, many total knee replacements aren’t even needed in the first place. Far too many surgeons just love the procedure. There’s no quicker and easier cash to be had in the business.
Knee replacements cost about $30,000-$50,000 apiece. That’s a lot of money on the line. And it helps explain why there are so many people in the business interested in getting as many knees replaced as possible.
In reality, knee replacement is only needed in the far less common cases where there’s extreme damage in every main competent within the joint.
When it’s bone-on-bone arthritis in one spot, you can typically ease the pain and increase your range of motion with exercise (like that PT I mentioned earlier) and other natural therapies.
For example, studies show Type-II collagen, a potent protein that can help rebuild the damaged “cushion” inside your knee, reduce pain, and increase mobility.
In one study, arthritis sufferers who took Type-II collagen saw their pain levels plunge by 40 percent.
Studies show Type II is even more effective than the old standard of glucosamine and chondroitin. You can find the nutrient on its own, but for even more protection, look for it as part of a complete knee-support formula.
Have a doctor pushing you toward surgery? Be sure to get a second opinion before you agree to the procedure.