How Not to Have Knee Surgery
The job of an orthopedic surgeon is twofold;
- To fix the body when something goes wrong
- To prevent it from going wrong in the first place
The objective of treating any orthopedic condition is to return the patient to a normal status in the most prudent manner possible. Many factors go into making such a decision, including the nature of the injury, the age and activity level of the patient, the time to recovery, risk of recurrent injury and the expected outcome of treatment.
All of these factors require a detailed discussion with the patient, addressing their specific needs and expectations.
We strive to treat orthopedic conditions with conservative, or non-operative, treatment whenever it is prudent to do so. The body has remarkable innate healing power and often merely needs to be coaxed in the right direction, i.e., to “help mother nature do her job.”
Dr. Nordt and his team consider this to be an expertise equivalent to that of surgery. We have developed numerous specific non-operative strategies for managing injuries as well as preventing re-injury. Specific programs and therapeutic devices have been developed by Dr. Nordt and his research associates. To this end, a lab was constructed to perform movement analysis. By careful analysis of force vectors in the body, innovative rehabilitation programs have been developed to reduce joint stresses.
Tips to Proactively Avoid Knee Surgery
While you may be putting off a visit to your orthopedic doctor because you think they will suggest having knee surgery, that may not be the case. In fact, there are many non-surgical and preventative actions you can take to reduce the pain you’re experiencing and prevent surgery.
The biggest weapon you have in avoiding knee surgery is strengthening the muscles that support your joints. For the knee, this includes strengthening the quadriceps in the front of the thigh, and the hamstrings in the back of the thigh, as these 2 muscles are key to improving knee strength.
Physical Therapy can be among the most effective non-surgical treatments, and can often lead to greater improvements compared to an individual exercising these muscles alone. This is due in part to Physical Therapists using their expertise to target, isolate and strengthen the appropriate muscles, but it also helps to have someone there for moral and mental support, as there may be some pain involved in your recovery.
As we walk, the force we place on the joints in our knee can be up to six times our body weight, so shedding some pounds could be among the most straight-forward way to reduce the pain in your knee. For example, if you’re someone who is 20 pounds’ overweight, by losing this excess, you could reduce the force on your knee by 60-120 pounds!
That being said, you shouldn’t just make some drastic diet change and hope for the best. We suggest you work with a dietician to reduce your caloric intake, while also ensuring you’re getting the appropriate amount of nutrients to allow you to build muscle and maintain your energy level.
We hope this blog post has been informative regarding ways you can proactively avoid knee surgery. For more information, contact Dr. Nordt today!