Modern medicine can literally rebuild a patient’s body. Like a car needing new parts, doctors can replace hips, joints and even limbs in people with critical and serious injuries. In fact, one of the most common surgeries in hospitals are artificial knee replacements. As the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this month, “rates of the surgery doubled from 1999 to 2008, with 3.5 million procedures a year expected by 2030.” But as the Tribune article also makes clear, these knee replacements are not a guaranteed cure.
Recent studies show that two thirds of knee replacement recipients still deal with chronic pain and one out of every five are dissatisfied with the outcome of their surgery. A study by the BMJ medical journal found that patients with osteoarthritis who received a knee replacement felt that the surgery “had minimal effects on quality of life.” Coupled with the fact that numerous artificial knee products are under medical recall should leave patients questioning the surgery and electing to proceed as an absolute last resort. Continue reading