Did you know some hospitals are now offering decision aids (DVDs and pamphlets) to orthopedic patients to help educate them about the different options available? For example, in an effort to reduce the amount of knee replacement surgeries, hospitals are beginning to introduce these aids to help patients decide if a Total Joint Replacement is the right procedure for them. They say these aids will help patients choose the best option/procedure for their knee pain however, it seems they are more geared to having patients delay or avoid getting the more significant and costly joint replacement procedures. One of the issues we see is the limited content of these aids. In this case, they only include pros and cons of general knee replacement surgery instead of providing the patients ALL the options for joint treatments such as grafting, resurfacing or even partial replacements.
Recently, there was an article on Boston.com titled, “Do you need a new knee?” with absolutely NO mention of less invasive treatments such as Arthrosurface, grafts, partial joint replacement or even custom implants. They reference only one surgeon who was taking a conservative approach, referring to joint replacement as a “one-way door” and putting this option off as long as possible. The few patient examples they give, show these patients have significant pain but put off surgery due to a lack of available options. Another concern patients had were what type of activities they could get back to after their joint replacement surgery. With some of these other options, it’s possible to retain an active lifestyle AND get rid of your pain. Crazy, right? Not at all! For many patients these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis or their hospital stay can be as short as one day. These other procedures may even allow patients to go back to normal activity and recover more quickly than if they had a total joint replacement. As you can see from the picture below, one patient was even able to go back to winning a gold medal at the 2012 Senior World Water Ski Championship after having a knee resurfacing procedure.
So spread the word- grafting, resurfacing and custom implants offer patients new options so they can get another chance to live a pain free active lifestyle!
Read the article here