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If you could avoid knee surgery, would you?

Uncategorized Jul 01, 2021

If you could avoid knee surgery, would you?

Of course you would! No one wants to get cut open if they don't have to. So here's some good news for you - PT has been shown to be just as effective as surgery in a study looking at the meniscus of the knee!

Pain in the knee related to damage to the meniscus of the knee is very common. Symptoms often include clicking and popping in the knee, pain at full knee extension, and pain at the tibiofemoral joint line. Treatment is often to get an MRI of the knee and surgically correct it - either repair or remove. But is that necessary? Do you have to go through surgery, be on crutches, then go through months of therapy to deal with the disuse? Or can you forgo that and skip straight to the results?

Consider the following publication suggesting that Physical Therapy may be just as effective as surgery.

van de Graff 2018
PT gives similar outcomes as surgery in those with meniscus tears

In a 2018 study, van de Graff et al. wanted to determine if there was a difference between partial meniscectomy surgery and physical therapy. The study included 321 people divided into 2 groups - surgery or Physical Therapy. The Physical Therapy group received 8 weeks of treatment; the surgery group had part of the meniscus removed and then received an independent home exercise program.

When the researchers followed up with the participants 24 months later, they concluded that PT gave "non-inferior" results - meaning that non-invasive treatment might be an effective approach if you do not want surgery.

So what this is saying is that Physical Therapy can often improve knee pain to the point that surgery is not needed.

2 possible outcomes of getting PT 1st

The primary goal of treatment (surgery or physical therapy) is to get you back to life as quickly as possible with the best and the longest-lasting results.

When you go through physical therapy 1 of 2 things will happen.

First possible outcome: You'll get stronger, more mobile, and avoid surgery.

Second possible outcome:  You'll get stronger, more mobile, and be better prepared for surgery and get better results from surgery.

Either option is awesome!! Both will get you moving better and stronger. If all the pain goes away and function returns - then you probably don't need surgery! If it is still bothersome, then surgery will be more effective!

Sounds like a win-win!

Either way, you will finish your Physical Therapy plan of care more prepared for the next step, whether that's surgery or avoiding surgery. Our goal is to get you back to what you love, whether we help you get you all the way better or help you find someone who can.

The first step is to schedule a Physiotherapy Evaluation. At the eval we can get a better idea of your goals, start working on fixing the underlying cause of pain, and create a plan to get you back to 100% unrestricted living.


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