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28 Tue

Avoiding Knee Surgery

Avoiding Knee Surgery

Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI



The February edition of AARP Magazine featured an article on knee pain and how to avoid knee replacement surgery.  They listed several strategies to try before opting for surgery:

  1. Avoid jumping, running, and high impact workouts.
  2. Lose weight.
  3. Strengthen and stretch with physical therapy.
  4. Use a knee brace that unloads the knee.
  5. Anti-inflammatory medications.
  6. Accupuncture.
  7. Cortisone or other types of injections.
  8. Dietary supplements such as Glucosamine or Chondroitin.

Knee replacement surgery is the most common joint replacement surgery in America.  About 700,000 are performed each year and that demand is only going to rise.  But knee surgery can definitely be avoided by trying the above strategies.

I had a client come in the other day who had gone to an orthopedic surgeon complaining of hip pain.  The doctor suggested that she’s a candidate for hip replacement surgery.  She had come in wondering what could physical therapy do.  We went through a quick little physical screen and I examined her leg.

Based on what we found, she didn’t seem like a candidate for joint replacement, she was tight, but not to the point that I would suggest replacing her joint.  

Sometimes, if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  I’m not saying that all surgery can be avoided, but sometimes you can improve your quality of life by making some changes.

Physical Therapy can help.  Making sure your body is strong and as flexible as it can be can really can unload structures and preserve your joints.  A good physical examination and assessing pain levels with certain activities can determine whether you actually can benefit from physical therapy or if you really need a joint replacement.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417. Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ. You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.




Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

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