The United States represents 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume 72% of the world’s pharmaceuticals. Is our healthcare system broken?
The first line of defense from a traditional medicine perspective, for any type of pain, is anti-inflammatory and pain medication. Our clinic uses regenerative medicine for many different orthopedic problems. However, the purpose of this article is to focus on the number one condition we see in our clinic – arthritis of the knee.
Typical Medical Practice
In a typical medical practice, the first therapy often rendered for bone on bone knee or osteoarthritis of the knee is corticosteroids. It is a well-known fact that the effect of corticosteroids on inflammation is profound, but at what cost?
The pharmacology of corticosteroids has the power to greatly reduce inflammation. This occurs on a very temporary basis but immediately starts to break down the structure of the joint. In essence, corticosteroids do much more harm than good.
Opioid Medications For Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Another pharmaceutical approach is opioid medications. In the United States, the use of Vicodin, hydrocodone and oxycodone has gone up drastically. The number of prescriptions increased from 76 million prescriptions in 1991, to 207 million in 2013 according to the International Narcotic Control Board.
Along with this, the incidents of opioid addiction have increased to critical levels in the UnitedStates. After the failed approach of corticosteroids and various medications, usually, surgeries are then recommended.
Knee Replacement Surgery Process
The first surgery is usually called a “clean up surgery”, where the surgeon will go in and remove pieces of the damaged meniscus or ligaments. When the arthritic process develops to the point where the femur is resting on the tibia, or bone on bone in the knee – a knee replacement is recommended.
If and when knee replacement is not successful, we will investigate these numbers. Then the patient is recommended pain management which is usually just more pharmaceuticals and opioid medications.
Knee Replacement Surgery Research Study
Let’s investigate a recent study by the British Medical Journal published in March of 2017. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a total knee replacement on the quality of life in people with osteoarthritis.
4,498 participants took place in this study and all of them had severe knee osteoarthritis and all were between the ages of 45-79. This study showed at the rate of total knee replacement in the United States had doubled since the year 2000.
An increase in the number of knee replacement surgeries can be explained in part by the population living longer. However, some suspect that this 40-billion-dollar industry is revolving around corruption, leading to the rise in surgeries for financial gain.
Knee Replacement Surgery Research Study Analysis
This study showed that up to one-third of patients receiving total knee replacement have chronic pain postoperatively.
It also showed a third of patients with total knee replacement may not even be appropriate as candidates for this procedure. In fact, these patient’s arthritis symptoms are not severe enough to merit aggressive interventions. This was also found in another study in the journal of arthritis and rheumatology. This further raises suspicion for financial gain.
This study also showed that younger patients are more likely to “outlive” their total knee replacement and require a second surgery. These second surgeries are much more difficult to perform for many reasons including the presence of scar tissue from the first surgery. According to a study in the Lancet Journal, 35% of patients under the age of 60 will require a second surgery.
Find Relief from your Knee Pain
We hope that this post has taught you about knee pain and why stem cell therapy may be the best solution for finding pain relief.
If you’re ready to give stem cell therapy a try for yourself and your knee pain, contact Beyer Stem Cell Institute in Tinley Park! To learn more about stem cells, ask our trained and certified functional medicine provider questions. You can also register for one of our upcoming stem cell therapy seminars. If you’re suffering from arthritis, joint pain, or any other chronic condition that causes pain, reach out to our team in Tinley Park today!
If still have questions, you may find more answers in this link to our blog about stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee.