Alternatives to Knee Surgery and Knee Replacement
Arthroscopic Surgery compared to Prolotherapy
It is dangerous to have knee pain and walk into an orthopedic surgeon’s office. Think about it… If you injure your knee or have knee arthritis, why do you jump first to seeing a surgeon? What treatment do you think they are evaluating you for? Surgery! However, even according to the Cochrane Reviews, “there is ‘gold’ level evidence that arthroscopic debridement has no benefit for undiscriminated osteoarthritis (mechanical or inflammatory).”1-2 We agree wholeheartedly and feel that patients deserve a better alternative to arthroscopic surgery. We feel that alternative is Prolotherapy!
Often we have patients who come to us because of residual pain after knee surgery, even when they saw the “top surgeon” and the “top hospital.” When we ask patients the reasons for their surgery, the typical response is “to shave cartilage” or “I don’t know.” With the thousands of patients we have treated with Prolotherapy injections, we feel it is the best treatment, as long as the problem is a partial ligament tear. Why? Because Prolotherapy allows the body repair the injury. Remember, removing any tissue that God has put in the body will have a consequence. The tissues most commonly removed during arthroscopic surgery in the knee are parts of the meniscus and the articular cartilage. Both of these structures are needed by the body to help the femur bone glide smoothly over the tibia. When either of these structures are removed, the bones do not glide property.
Eventually, whatever meniscus or articular cartilage is left after the arthroscopic surgery is worn away. Once this occurs, bone begins rubbing against bone and proliferative arthritis begins. After a course of cortisone shots, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and several trials of physical therapy, the patient is again under the knife. This time for a knee replacement. To summarize, once an arthroscope touches the knee, the chance of developing knee arthritis tremendously increases.
Alternatives to Knee Surgery and Knee Replacement
In our experience, even if a person has already had a surgical evaluation, it is well worth consulting a Prolotherapy specialist. At Caring Medical, Ross Hauser, MD specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has seen and treated thousands of patients who were on the path to surgery before avoiding it because of Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy, an injection technique that stimulates the body to repair the painful area. Along with Danielle Steilen, MMS, PA-C, who also specializes in full time Prolotherapy for sports injuries and arthritis, we have an excellent Prolotherapy success rate, having treated thousands of knees including running injuries, osteoarthritis, articular cartilage damage, torn ACL, torn meniscus, chondromalacia patellae, and the gamut of other painful knee conditions.
Before letting an arthroscope touch you, it is imperative to have an evaluation by a physician familiar with Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy, an alternative to knee surgery, will begin collagen formation both outside and inside the knee joint, depending on the structure(s) that are injected. Prolotherapy injections stimulate the body to repair itself. Surgery in the knee is appropriate when a ligament is completely torn, such as would occur from a high velocity injury. Prolotherapy is helpful to regrow ligaments if both ends of the ligament remain attached to bone. Remember, 98% of ligament injuries are partial tears for which we can offer you a good alternative to knee surgery.
We cannot tell you how many times we get this question: “Doc, I already had the surgery, and I still have pain. Am I still a candidate for Prolotherapy?” The answer is most likely “Yes.” Of the endless surgical reports that we’ve read: arthroscopic debridement, meniscus removal, and countless others, the surgeon will remove structures that the joint needs for cushion and stability. It is no surprise that long term results of these procedures include continued knee pain, knee instability, knee popping or clicking, knee weakness, osteoarthritis or bone on bone arthritis. What Prolotherapy aims to do is help the body repair the weakened tissue so the joint can function optimally.
Prolotherapy for knee pain
If you are suffering with chronic knee pain, sports injury, or post surgical knee pain and looking for a permanent solution that doesn’t just mask the problem, Prolotherapy may be your answer. We have a tremendous amount of experience and success treating these cases. We would love to hear more about your case, and see how we can help you!
- Hauser R. Prolotherapy just makes more sense for cartilage injuries than accelerating arthritis with arthroscopy. Journal of Prolotherapy. 2009;1(1):6-7.
- Laupattarakasem W, et al. Arthroscopic debridement for knee osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005118. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005118.pub2. Available at: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005118.html.