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Knee Surgery For Knee Pain – A Chiropractor’s Perspective

Musculoskeletal pain affects up to 44 per cent of Singaporeans (The Straits times, 2015) and the number of people with knee pain has doubled since World War II (Science, 2017). But is knee surgery the solution to your problem?

We know it hurts with every step. Knee pain is intrusive and recovery can be slow. You have had a MRI done and you’ve been told you will need knee surgery. Do you though? Can a chiropractor help?

Is Standard medical care always better?

There has been a lot of media coverage questioning common, standard medical procedures. The issue in concern is that these procedures’ effectiveness are not supported by research data. Some surgeries for low back pain has come under fire for being virtually useless (Canberra Times, 2018) and is a significant contributor to increasing healthcare costs (The Conversation, 2018)! Opioid medications have also been found to be not only of little benefit but also puts patients at risk of serious side effects (SBS News, 2018). Earlier this year, Scientific American posted an article (How Fake Surgery Exposes Useless Treatments) to push for patients considering surgery to try conservative care first!

Do you know that knee pain is the most common pain complaint in older adults?
Family Practice, Oxford University (2007)

Musculoskeletal pain affects up to 44 per cent of Singaporeans (The Straits times, 2015) and the number of people with knee pain has doubled since World War II (Science, 2017). But is surgery the solution to your problem?

1. Fake Knee Surgery As Effective As Real Surgery!

A study by prestigious journal Pain Medicine in 2017 found that real orthopaedic surgeries (including knee surgeries) were as effective as sham surgeries in reducing pain and improving disability! Given the case, how do we know real surgery actually work? Placebo?

2. Knee Osteoarthritis is Higher in if you Choose Surgery

In a 2018 study, 80% of patients who had knee surgery had knee arthritis compared to 68% in the group who did not have surgery. Furthermore, after 20 years, there was no difference in both subjective and objective functional outcomes in both groups.

3. Knee Surgery Increases Risk of Joint Damage

Another 2018 study by prestigious Bone and Joint Journal found knee surgery (partial meniscectomy) to be strongly associated with the worsening of cartilage damage. While knee surgeries are fairly safe, what are the long term effects of surgical treatment. Is it necessary?

4. No Better Long Term Results When Compared to Rehab

What? Yes, you hear me right. A 2013 study found that ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction did not yield better results than rehab alone at 5-year follow up. Sure, you tore your ACL but do you need it reconstructed? May not.

What Do I Do With My Knee Pain Now?

There is always a place for standard medical care and a right time to consider knee surgery for your knee pain. Before heading straight to the surgeon’s office, why not give conservative care a shot? Exercise and chiropractic care have been reported to be an effective and cheaper treatment option for knee pain (Asia One & The Joint). Chiropractors offer effective solutions for your knee pain. Why not give us a try? Surgery can wait.

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Dr. Jesse Cai Chiropractor
Jesse, a chiropractor with a unique approach, believes in empowering his clients to lead functional and fulfilling lives. Jesse worked with high-level Australian athletes, including roles such as Head Sport Trainer for Forrestfield Football Club, board member of Sports Chiropractic Australia, and member of Sports Medicine Australia.

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