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Essence Health Group

Patients Seeking Out Knee Replacement Alternatives

Massage Therapy Council Bluffs

Osteoarthritis is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries. Worldwide estimates are that 10% of men and 18% of women aged over 60 years have symptomatic osteoarthritis, including moderate and severe forms. It is estimated by the year 2030, 72 million Americans will be at high risk for osteoarthritis. 

As the general population ages, more and more baby boomers are opting for knee replacement surgery earlier in life. The reason being that boomers are more active than any previous generation. They want to continue playing their favorite sports, run and dance with the same level of intensity as they are used to. Previously, knee replacement surgeries were only performed on very old patients who were crippled with osteoarthritis and severely hindering their daily activities. “Now patients in their 40’s and 50’s are experiencing an earlier onset of osteoarthritis that affects their daily lives,” says J. David Blaha, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Michigan Health System. In fact, the number of boomers opting to go under the knife for early knee replacement is growing at an alarming rate.

One major concern for orthopedic surgeons is the longevity of the knee implant. Due to the fact that most joint replacement have been performed primarily on older patients, there isn’t a lot of data to show how these implants hold up in younger people, who will engage in more activities and have them over longer periods of time. Younger knee replacement patients may need to get a new replacement in as little as 5 to 10 years, which is a concern. “It gets more complicated with each revision,” says Michael R. Baumgaertner, M.D., professor of orthopedic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. “Every time it has to be redone, there is more bone loss.”

What are the alternatives to the surgery room for people suffering from OA of the knee? Viscosupplementation is a clinically proven option to help the health of the joint and is a minimally invasive solution. How does it work? Our bodies naturally create a solution to keep our knees and other joint lubricated. Osteoarthritis reduces the ability of this natural lubricant to protect your knees. Consequently, you may experience reduced mobility and increased pain. Our injections use the FDA approved solution comprised of highly purified sodium hyaluronate. When injected into the knee, the Viscosupplementation solution help to cushion and lubricate the knee joint, nourishing knee cartilage for natural pain management. The solution helps to restore normal function to the joint, including its natural lubrication. Patients experience less pain and are able to enjoy a more active lifestyle. In addition, this treatment is covered by most insurances.