Nowadays, knee pain is a common symptom experienced by most people. Despite undergoing conservative treatments for knee pain such as medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections, people do not find any significant improvement. Hence, they end up opting for knee replacement surgery. At times, several patients directly proceed with surgery thinking that they might get permanent relief without wasting time on other knee pain treatments.
However, knee replacement surgery should actually be the last resort, that too only in the most extreme cases. This article aims at presenting six reasons to avoid knee replacement surgery despite its risks. So, let us go through them one by one.
6 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery
Chronic knee pain
People usually opt for knee replacement surgery only to get rid of knee pain. Unfortunately, surgery causes even more pain. Several patients reported that their pain worsens even after 2-3 years post-surgery. The reason for this chronic knee pain need not be a knee condition. The cause could be a spinal nerve issue. That’s why there is no relief from pain even after surgery.
Suppose you are having knee pain due to back issues like bunion formation or hamstring tightness. Then, there is no need to opt for knee replacement surgery. Hence, it is important to determine the cause of the pain before focusing only on symptoms.
Increased risk of side effects
After undergoing knee replacement surgery, many people, especially men, are at a higher risk of getting heart attack and stroke. Studies reported that there might be an increase in stomach bleeding for 6 weeks after undergoing surgery. Trauma in the blood vessels could lead to severe stress with an increased risk of developing blood clot formation in the lungs, brain, or heart.
A Swedish study reported that the patients who underwent knee replacement surgery suffered from hip fractures following the surgery within 10 years. Furthermore, they experience loss in hip bone density as well.
Expectations may not meet reality
Most of the advertisements show elders playing sports after undergoing knee replacement surgery to emphasize that people can regain their normal lives after surgery. But the fact is only very few people can get back to anything closer to routine activities following surgery. Furthermore, surgery works better for younger patients compared to older patients.
That’s why most of the younger patients undergo another knee surgery to fix their initial knee replacement within five years after the first surgery.
Lose of independence
Surgery involves a lengthy rehabilitation session where you seem to be very dependent on others even wearing pants every day. This inability could be too embarrassing which might affect you emotionally and make you feel depressed. Furthermore, you don’t regain your independence even for months.
Tissue damage or pseudo-tumour development due to metal ions in the blood
Wear particles are microscopic substances made up of ceramic, plastic, or metal that get broken off of the replacement, rupture nearby tissues, and enter the bloodstream.
The Austrian study reported that prosthetic size is correlated with the metal ion concentration in blood. The larger the knee replacement device, the more the metal ion concentration in the blood.
Another study reported that after the implantation of knee prosthesis, the concentration of metal ions got increased in the blood. Compared to patients who didn’t undergo knee replacement procedures, people who underwent this procedure were found to have higher serum levels of cobalt and chromium.
An Italian study revealed the reason for this increase in metal ions. As the knee replacement device is not placed properly, it does not bind with the surrounding bone. As a result, there will be additional wear between the metal and the bone which leads to an increase in metal particles.
These metal particles can develop metal toxicity inside the body leading to tissue damage and the development of pseudo-tumours. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed additional adverse reactions such as skin rashes, kidney function impairment, thyroid dysfunction, cardiomyopathy, psychological status change like cognitive impairment or depression, and neurological changes like visual or auditory impairments.
Even if the metal is replaced with a cross-linked polyethylene, there will be a breakdown of these chemicals leading to cartilage inflammation and knee tissue damage.
Failure due to the development of allergies
Several studies already reported that the components of knee replacement prostheses could lead to allergies. As a result, there is a higher risk of rejection and toxicity by prosthetic metal particles.
In case, you are already an allergic patient, it is recommended to avoid knee replacement surgery. It’s because allergic patients have hyperactive immune systems. Hence, they secrete antibodies improperly to get rid of the material which was mistakenly considered as harmful. What if that material is a knee replacement device? It would significantly affect the surgical outcomes.
Similarly, if you are sensitive to metals, you may also experience issues with the metals present in the joint replacement prostheses device.
Due to allergy followed by the chronic inflammation that it develops, allergic patients who underwent knee replacement may experience more pain. Those who are allergic to more than three allergens may suffer more. Unfortunately, the cement which is used to bind the prostheses device to the bone can also develop severe allergic reactions among allergic patients. In such cases, the prosthetic device may not suit the patient and it should be replaced as soon as possible before it causes severe chronic pain.
What could be the alternative to knee replacement surgery?
Before opting for surgery, consider regenerative medicine that aims at providing pain relief and an improved range of motion without going under the knife.
There are three types of regenerative medicine that include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, stem cell therapy, and prolotherapy. Injection of the natural factors present in your own cells can promote the natural healing mechanism to heal the conditions naturally without causing any major side effects.
Are you the right candidate to undergo regenerative treatment? Would you like to explore natural treatments before opting for surgery? Our Medica Stem Cells Clinic is the right place to contact and figure out whether regenerative medicine works for you.
You can visit Medica Stem Cells Clinic located in Ireland and London for direct consultation. Our team of regenerative medicine experts can determine whether you are the right candidate to undergo regenerative therapy.
As mentioned already, make sure not to proceed with total knee replacement surgery right away. Delay or avoid it, if possible. Remember that it is possible to avoid surgery.
The first step should be educating yourself and being aware of the possible complications of knee replacement surgery. Make sure to learn how long it will take to come back to your routine lifestyle. Above all, be fully aware of alternative nonsurgical procedures.
Last but not least, try nonsurgical methods, especially regenerative medicine, before opting for surgery.