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Injections / Replacement Not Best for Knee Pain

November 20, 2020

Risks Associated with Injections and Knee Replacement

The number one reason doctors and surgeons recommend injections or a knee replacement is knee pain combined with an image that indicates osteoarthritis. But this assessment is often simplistic in nature and these recommendations come with risks.

Following a knee replacement, nearly 20 percent of patients state that they have continued knee pain. This is mainly because the biomechanical problem that is causing knee pain was not addressed. The problem is a biomechanical dysfunction in the soft tissue surrounding the joint, which can be addressed by physical therapy.

In addition, Gregory M. Martin, MD, in a literature review in June of 2018, indicated that of the patients who had a total knee replacement, 1.6 percent had a pulmonary embolism, and 1 percent had a deep infection in the first twenty-six weeks after surgery. There is also a higher risk for myocardial infarction, aseptic loosening, and a large list of other serious complications. You could avoid the risks by relieving knee pain with conservative treatments.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May of 2018 concluded that quarterly corticosteroid injections for osteoarthritis of the knee increased cartilage loss over the course of two years without providing any clinical benefit.

That means that injections into the joint lead to higher rates of joint replacement. It is not the best treatment option out there, yet it is commonly performed and can lead to a higher cost of care and higher risk procedures such as surgery.

An Alternative Knee Pain Treatment with a High Success Rate

It is important when getting care for a painful knee to seek help from an expert who understands the complexity of the knee and its relationship to the rest of the body. The source of knee pain often originates from a biomechanical problem in the areas above and below the knee, which causes a stress response in the knee itself. The most common areas that are overlooked are the foot/ankle complex and the hip. These areas often show a reduction in movement ability and create stress and pain in the knee itself.

Commonly, treatments are focused on the knee that is painful. This treatment option can often result in not getting to the root of the problem and can lead to overspending on treatments that don’t fix the problem. This is, by far, the most common rip-off when seeking knee pain treatment.

The knee pain experts at Superior Physical Therapy intimately understand how the entire body is connected and that you must look above and below the painful knee in order to find a solution. Call one today at 231.944.6541 or sign up for our FREE Knee Pain Workshop!


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