(Reuters Health)—Total knee replacement can usually relieve pain and improve function, but a nonsurgical regimen can also be effective in some people without posing the complication risks of surgery, according to a new study.
The study found that while 85% of patients who underwent surgery showed clinically-significant improvement after one year, so did 67% assigned to a combination of supervised exercise, use of insoles, pain medication, education and dietary advice.
“It won’t do any harm trying the nonsurgical treatment,” chief author, Dr. Soren Skou of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, told Reuters Health. “I hope this will give a more balanced discussion of whether or not to have the surgery.”
There’s little debate that knee replacement helps many people, and the new study of 100 patients confirms it. Surgery patients didn’t show just some improvement. They registered far less pain and disability than those assigned to the non-surgery group.