Are arthroscopies effective? New evidence suggests not
A recent report in the New York Times reported on 2 different studies that examined the effectiveness of arthroscopies, a keyhole surgical procedure that removes the debris that can cause knee pain. The bottom line was that physical therapy coupled with anti inflamatories worked as well. The other study worryingly showed that this procedure was no more effective than a placebo!

Since this point Medicare, the US health care insurer has withdrawn funding for this operation.

Deciding on having knee surgery really should be the last resort after having exhausted other potential. Invasive surgeries are sometimes not the answer. We should really look at knee surgery as the exception rather than the rule.

There are many other complimentary therapies that exist in this century hence we don’t need to go invade the body unless we are certain that there are no other options available. It is also understandable that doctors are faced with little options if a patient can afford it and is making a serious request for knee surgery based on the severity of symptoms they feel. In some cases it may seem that surgery is the only way.

This is a challenge to doctors to educate themselves not only about the drugs that exist in modern medicine but to keep up to date with the new information being presented and alternative therapies from other countries. Countries that have similar problems and have medicinal practices which have existed for thousands of years and most importantly, methods that works.  Doctors today need to have an open mind about their patient’s health and be in a position to offer real care and options to their patients without resorting to quick and fast solutions. The bottom line is that the outcome rather than the method are what matter.

Some therapies have proven to be more effective than most drugs and surgery combined. So in aid of better health for arthritis sufferers, it is beneficial to introduce patients to non- invasive alternative therapies. It’s often the last resort after many years of drug treatment.

Every case is different and the final decision should be made after careful assessment of the lifestyle of the individual and the benefits achieved after surgery. Many options should be weighed and tried. Having a holistic approach to the problem usually works best.

The full article can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/health/research/11knee.html?_r=1

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