Rocky Mountain Regenerative Medicine

5 Things Wrong With Knee Replacement You Need To Know

by Khoshal Latifzai •

March 2, 2023


Rate of Major Complications of Knee Replacement : 14%
Rate of Minor Complications : 47%

Today we are talking about a serious topic that affects millions of people across the United States: knee replacement surgery. While this surgery can be life-changing in certain cases, it’s important to understand the potential dangers and risks involved before making the decision to go under the knife.

First and foremost, knee replacement surgery is a major surgery that carries with it inherent risk of complications. We don’t want to make you feel uneasy, but it’s important to understand the full scope of this procedure.

Once rightly regarded as a last resort, knee replacement is becoming a dangerously common solution to chronic knee pain. With an increase in inappropriate usage, it’s not surprising that complication rates are being compounded and patients who should not have undergone the surgery in the first place are being affected.

Risk of major complications post-knee replacement (e.g. death, heart attack, stroke, systemic infection, etc) is upward of 14%. Risk of minor complications (e.g. infections requiring hospitalization, blood clots, surgical revision, etc.) is 47%. Even if you’re fortunate enough to not be amongst those with adverse outcomes, there’s no assurance that your pain and immobility will be fully restored.

5 potential risks associated with knee surgery:
Infection: Knee surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries risk of infection. Infection can occur at the surgical site, in the joint, or in other areas of the body as a result of the surgery, time in the hospital, and immobility.
Blood clots: Blood clots are another potential complication of knee surgery. They can form in the veins of the legs, and subsequently dislodge and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
Nerve damage: Knee surgery can damage nerves in the area, which can lead to numbness, weakness, or other problems.
Stiffness: After knee surgery, stiffness in the joint is very common. This can make it difficult to move the knee and can limit the range of motion.
Pain: While knee surgery is intended to alleviate pain, it is not uncommon for patients to experience pain during the recovery process that persists for years as a result of the new hardware.

Heo, S.M., Harris, I., Naylor, J. et al. Complications to 6 months following total hip or knee arthroplasty: observations from an Australian clinical outcomes registry. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 21, 602 (2020).

Unnecessary Knee Replacements
Knee replacement is invasive, radical, and irreversible, not to mention a roll of the dice. Will it actually get you where you want to be? Studies have revealed that 1/3 of all knee replacements are unnecessary, with many patients remaining in pain. Rather than being a “last resort”, doctors and patients are “rolling the dice” with the hope of favorable results.

According to a study published in The BMJ, knee replacement surgeries have more than doubled in the United States since 2000, with over 700,000 procedures performed annually. The study also found that a significant number of knee replacement surgeries are unnecessary, with up to one-third of patients experiencing no improvement in pain or function after surgery.

So, why is knee replacement surgery being overused? There are several factors that may contribute to this trend:

Aging population accepts joint deterioration as a normal part of aging
Financial incentives for doctors and hospitals to perform these surgeries.
Patients with osteoarthritis believe that surgery is the only option for knee pain.

So, how can we address the overuse of knee replacement surgery? Application of joint directed regenerative therapies and anti-aging principals – that’s how! These treatments are less invasive, have much lower complication rates, and are effective in relieving knee pain, improving knee function, and improving your overall health.

Regenerative Therapies for Joint Pain
Biologic, innovative, evidence-based approaches to treating knee pain aim to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms to regenerate damaged tissue. These are minimally invasive, long-term solutions with far less downtime and proven results.


Advantages of Regenerative Alternatives
Less invasive: Regenerative therapies are way less invasive than knee replacement surgery, meaning there is less risk of complications, less pain, and a quicker recovery time.
Lower risk of complications: Knee replacement surgery carries a risk of infection, blood clots, nerve damage, and other complications, whereas regenerative therapies have risk of complications near zero.
Preserves natural knee joint: Regenerative therapies aim to repair and regenerate the damaged tissue in the knee, which means that the natural knee joint is preserved. Knee replacement surgery, on the other hand, involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, and surgical plaster.
Long-term benefits: Regenerative therapies can provide long-term benefits by improving the overall health of the joint and promoting natural healing, whereas knee replacement surgery requires additional surgeries when the artificial joint wears out or becomes damaged.



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