Getting surgery is never fun. There are upsides, but also lots of possible complications and
mixed results. The enclosed 5-page summary highlights the information from the July 2021
article published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). The ten most common elective
orthopedic procedures were studied to determine their effectiveness. This article argues for optimizing non-surgical management of the conditions before surgery and managing the patient’s expectations on what surgery might achieve.
Ten Procedures Were Studied:
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint. The condition treated is bolded and italicized.
- Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction for End-Stage Osteoarthritis
- Arthroscopic meniscal repair of the knee for traumatic tears
- Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy of the knee for degenerative tears
- Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair Acute Rotator Cuff Tears (see our additional article on this)
- Arthroscopic subacromial decompression for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal tunnel decompression Subacromial Impingement Syndrome
- Lumbar spine decompression Spinal Canal Stenosis
- Lumbar spine fusion for Degenerative Disc Disease
- Total hip replacement for End-Stage Osteoarthritis
- Total knee replacement for End-Stage Osteoarthritis
Only 2 of the 10 surgeries showed superior results with surgical intervention.
- Surgically repairing the knee was superior to non-surgical treatment.
- Carpal Tunnel Decompression was shown to be better to relieve symptoms.
- Like any medical procedure, do your homework before scheduling surgery. “Surgery is expensive and associated with considerable morbidity, increased risks of complications attributed to the surgical intervention, and excess mortality.”
- Research alternative options to surgery and give them at least a few months to work. Dr. Cerami note: “After the injury that nearly caused me to lose my left foot, I decided to use the LDS wound clinic instead of plastic surgery. It took 2 visits per week for 5 months and HBOT/FSM to close my open wound, but I was more comfortable with this decision compared to surgical alternative (8 hour surgery, 5 days in the hospital and 2 weeks with my foot above my waist).”