If you’re suffering with chronic joint pain – knee pain, hip pain or back pain – you know what it’s like to feel truly miserable! And after having tried just about everything from physical therapy to pain killers, you may now be considering joint reconstruction surgery . Surgery performed to replace natural joints with artificial joints is often referred to as hip replacement surgery or knee replacement surgery.
Your orthopedic surgeon may believe that joint reconstruction is the only solution to your irritating problem, and this may be a reason why joint reconstruction surgery is so prevalent in our society. But often there are important pieces of information that you are not told before (or after) you’re on the table, such as the fact that repairing or reconstructing malfunctioning joints is never a simple procedure and often the results are far from what you’re hoping for. Here are eight good reasons not to have joint reconstruction surgery, unless there is no other option:
Why Not To Have Knee Surgery, Hip Surgery or Back Surgery For Chronic Joint Pain
General Anesthesia Risks
General anesthesia interferes with and suppresses the functioning of your heart and lungs, which can lead to severe disability or ‘anesthesia induced death’. Admittedly, one can argue this risk factor is fairly low (according to the National Healthcare Quality Report, 2003; this occurrence is one in every two thousand patients if you are under the age of 44 and increasing with age) but is the risk of severe complications or death worth taking when there are other options available? Someone has to be the ‘one in two thousand’ – it could be you!
Post Anesthesia Reactions
Due to the toxicity of the anesthetic drugs being used, some patients report short term memory loss, severe headaches and/or visual and hearing disturbances. These symptoms can last anywhere from hours to days to months. Because these drugs are slowly eliminated from the body, if you have multiple joint reconstruction surgeries (involving general anesthesia) the potential for serious side effects is exponentially increased with each successive surgery.
Post Operative Infections
Hospitals are the most germ infected structures on the face of the earth and practically every known pathogen resides there. Some of them are resistant to every known antibiotic. If you are unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and one of those pathogens enters your post surgical wound, not only might you lose a part of your body, you could very well lose your life.
Because there are so many patients infected with highly invasive pathogens that (if not carefully confined) can spread throughout the hospital, many surgeons now place their patients in ambulatory surgical centers – not only for your welfare, but for theirs as well.
Weakening of the Joint
Surgery always weakens your joint(s) and you are left with a functioning joint that’s never as strong and resilient as what you were born with. If possible, it’s far better to allow your own body to heal the joint than to have a surgeon repair it. How is this done? By taking away the obstacle to healing – that is; find and permanently handle the cause of your painful joint(s).
No Guaranteed Outcome
You may get a good surgeon. You may not. But even good surgeons have bad days – a doctor’s argument with their spouse earlier that morning does not forebode well for you on the surgical table that afternoon.
The doctor may perform the surgery precisely as it was meant to be done, but your expectations may not be met. For example; after your recuperation you may still have pain, disability and/or lack of joint function. If you express your concerns to your surgeon, his initial response will probably be: “The surgery went well”. (This translates as: ‘I technically performed the surgery according to the way I was taught.’)
If pressed further, his second response might be: “I’m referring you to a psychologist to help you cope with your recovery.” (This translates as: ‘Your remaining pain is all in your head.’)
Failure of the Implanted Material
The metal used in the manufacturing of an artificial joint is typically a type of alloy, such as titanium or stainless steel. Sometimes there are manufacturing defects in these metals or in the design and/or construction of the artificial joint. These defects can cause the joint to malfunction.
In addition, artificial joints are subject to failure over time because they can:
- Break away from the bone stock
- Crack the bone they’re attached to
- Malfunction due to a shift in their position
Any of these problems will require redoing the surgery.
In the case of hip joint replacement, typically there is only sufficient bone stock material in the femur to perform this procedure a maximum of three times because each hip joint replacement typically lasts 10 to 15 years. If you have this procedure done when you are relatively young……. do the math (you’ll end up in a wheel chair before your 65th birthday).
If you’re fortunate, your recovery time will be relatively short and uneventful. But this isn’t always the case, particularly when the underlying cause of your problem hasn’t been determined and effectively treated. That is, when you undergo a surgical procedure which structurally weakens the joint and the cause that originally necessitated the surgery is still present, you’re going to have a slow, difficult and painful recovery.
Reconsidering Your Options
After you’ve had your body cut open and parts moved around, reassembled or thrown away; this is not the best time to reconsider the choice you’ve made. Before making a decision that will most certainly affect your entire life, do your own independent research to find more effective, less invasive options. They are there.
To find out why many surgeons recommend hip replacements, go to: Is There A Hidden Reason Doctors Promote Hip Replacment For Chronic Pain In Hips?
Also be sure to read: “Pain All Over My Body” Resulted In Unnecessary Joint Surgery
When your chronic joint pain manifests as hip or knee pain, you may be told artificial joint replacement, often referred to as hip replacement surgery or knee replacement surgery, is your only hope for a life free from pain. Don’t let yourself be rushed into joint reconstruction surgery!
Nor must you be content to struggle by with temporary fixes and treatments that only work in the short term, like physical therapy and prescription drugs.
As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting knee, hip and back pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page.
If you would like to contact me regarding an appointment to resolve your pain, click here.
Professor/Dr Brian A Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of the International Academy RPT
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain and The Foots Connection to Chronic Pain