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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow EXERCISE INSTEAD OF KNEE SURGERY
EXERCISE INSTEAD OF KNEE SURGERY
Exercise is as good as surgery if you have chronic knee pain in the front of your knee. The medical term for this problem is patellofemoral syndrome (PFPS). Which means that you have pain where the thighbone connects to the kneecap.

Commonly, PFPS is treated with arthroscopic surgery, in which equipment is inserted through small incisions in your knee to diagnose and fix the problem. However, there is little evidence that this treatment is the best option.

Researchers at The ORTON Research Institute in Helsinki, Finland conducted this study in December 2007. It compared arthroscopy with exercise in 56 patients with PFPS. One group of participants was treated with knee arthroscopy and an eight-week home exercise program, while a second group received only the exercise program.

After nine months, patients in both groups experienced similar reductions in pain and improvements in knee mobility. A follow-up conducted two years later still found no differences in outcomes between the two groups. Of course, a huge difference is in the relative cost of each approach. Those who had received the surgery had to pay over $1,300 more than the exercise-only group.

The researchers concluded that arthroscopy is not a cost-effective treatment for PFPS. Not only is it not cost-effective, many of my patients report that they are worse after such surgery, not better. Remember, if you see an orthopedic surgeon for problems, their solution will be surgery (and/or drugs) most of the time. That's what they do. Whereas there are other options that are also curative-homeopathy, nutrition, chiropractic rehabilitation, etc.

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