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July 6, 2017

What I Wish I’d Known About My Knees – The New York Times

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Author: JANE E. BRODY
Date: JULY 3, 2017
Source: What I Wish I’d Known About My Knees – The New York Times
Image Credit: Paul Rogers

Excerpt:
Many of the procedures people undergo to counter chronic knee pain in the hopes of avoiding a knee replacement have limited or no evidence to support them. Some enrich the pockets of medical practitioners while rarely benefiting patients for more than a few months.

I wish I had known that before I had succumbed to wishful thinking and tried them all…

“Arthroscopic surgery has a role, but not for arthritis and meniscal tears,” Dr. Reed A.C. Siemieniuk, a methodologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and chairman of the panel, said in an interview.

Dr. Siemieniuk conceded that treatment for degenerative knee arthritis can be “frustrating for both doctors and patients” because there is no clear answer as to what will help which patients.

Until there is better evidence, he suggested the following approaches that are known to help keep many patients out of the operating room.

• If you are overweight, lose weight. The more you weigh, the more pressure on your knees with every step and the more they are likely to hurt when walking or climbing stairs.

• Pay attention to the activities that aggravate knee pain and try to avoid those that are not essential, like squatting or sitting too long in one place.

• If the pain is bad enough, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) or an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen or naproxen.

• Probably most helpful of all, undergo one or more cycles of physical therapy administered by a licensed therapist, perhaps one who specializes in knee pain. Be sure to do the recommended exercises at home and continue to do them indefinitely lest their benefits dissipate.

• Consider consulting an occupational therapist who can teach you how to modify your activities to minimize knee discomfort.

Read the full article here What I Wish I’d Known About My Knees – The New York Times