What Would You Do?
Need to take a minute here to paint a little picture... Imagine that you are sitting in your orthopedist's office, with pain in your right knee. the doctor ordered an MRI which shows that you have a slightly torn meniscus. You knew that something was wrong because the knee really hurts whenever you go for a run. She sits down with you and presents you with two options. Option 1 - She can perform arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn meniscus or Option 2 - You can begin a course of Physical Therapy and Exercise. Be honest with yourself and answer this question - "Which option would you choose?"
For years, many Americans would have opted for the quick surgical procedure, rather than choosing to have to do the work associated with the PT and exercise. Many Americans will chose the easy way out, like we do when we chose to take medication instead of changing our diet or exercising more. But would you change your mind about the surgery if you knew that the outcomes of surgery were NOT any better than the outcomes from PT and Exercise? An editorial, from the British Medical Journal, that spoke to the benefit of meniscus surgery and stated that the surgery "is a highly questionable practice without supporting evidence of even moderate quality... Good evidence has been widely ignored." Would that statement make you change your mind? It would make me change mine!
There was a great article written by Gina Kolata and published in The New York Times. The article was entitled "Why 'Useless' Surgery Is Still Popular" and spoke not only about meniscectomies, but also about lumbar fusions. The benefit of fusions has also been called into questions repeatedly. If you would like to read the article, click on this link:
Movement is my Medicine,