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How knee surgery can reduce chronic pain

In New York and around the world, people are living with chronic pain. The stats are staggering. According to AARP, a Harris Poll of 2,041 adults, commissioned by the American Osteopathic Association, found that 57 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 55 and 64 and half of those 65 or older have experienced protracted chronic pain.

While back pain was the most common complaint, knee problems weren’t far behind on the list. Most frustrating is the impact people report this pain having on their lives.

According to the report, “Nearly two-thirds of those with chronic pain said it had affected their lives, and many (20 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds and 25 percent of those 65-plus) said it compelled them to give up sports, exercise, painting, gardening or other pastimes.”

Quite frankly, this is unfair, and if you find yourself in this camp, it’s important that you know you have options to make a difference.

Some find relief and medications, physical therapy, and even yoga. But I have dealt with enough individuals to comfortably say that a knee joint repair or replacement can be an incredibly effective strategy for combating chronic pain.

What your surgery looks like and will include depends on your exact situation and your overall health. Here are a few examples:

Joint preservation

Preservation is an ideal option if you have arthritis that is causing trouble with your joints but is not so bad that they need to be totally replaced. With this strategy, we focus on repairing the mechanical balance of the joint forces to avoid concentrated loads. This might occur through cartilage transplants, meniscal allografts, complex ligamentous reconstruction, or other approaches.

Partial knee replacement

Sometimes, the damage sustained to the knee involves mostly one compartment or area. If your pain fits into this category, a partial knee replacement might be your best bet for relief. One of the major advantages of this method is the preservation of key ligaments, which helps maintain optimal balancing and function in the joint. I often use robotic surgery in this type of case to ensure the best result, but it still likely that you’ll need additional surgery in five to 10 years as you continue to use your joints in an active way.

Total knee replacement

A total replacement is probably the most well-known knee surgery. With this procedure, the worn-out cartilage cap at the end of the bones forming the knee are trimmed, and a metallic cap and tray are inserted in the problem area. The patient satisfaction success rate of the operation is high, but is critically dependent on diligent post operative cooperation with exercises and physiotherapy. We’ll set you up to make sure you get the care and resources you need for a proper healing process.

No one deserves chronic pain. When you come into my office, I will listen closely to your concerns and help you find a solution that works best for your body.

Posted in: Joint Replacement, Knee Replacement

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