One-Third Knee Replacement Surgeries Unnecessary
According to statistics collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), there are over 700,000 knee replacement surgeries performed in this country every year. A recent study has concluded that at least one-third of total knee replacement surgeries are unnecessary. In medical terms, knee replacement is referred to as total knee arthroplasty (TKA).TKA is often recommended for patients who have chronic pain from badly damaged knee joints. During the procedure, the damaged cartilage and bone is removed and replaced with an artificial joint manufactured out of high grade plastics and metal alloys. There has been a marked increase in the number TKAs that are performed every year. Data reveals the number of procedures tripled between the years of 1993 to 2009. Some studies suggest this increase is due to a correlated increase in obesity in this country. Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond analyzed the data of 175 patients who had undergone a TKA procedure. They developed a classification system to determine which patients were good candidates for the surgery. Some of the criteria the research team looked at were the ages of the patients and the location and extent of their pain. The research team also used the patient’s WOMAC score. This score is obtained by having the patient fill out a questionnaire that asks the patient to rate stiffness, symptoms, pain and daily living functions. The conclusion of the research team was that 34 percent of the patients who had undergone a TKA were never good candidates for the surgery. The authors of the study wrote, “It seems reasonable to question whether TKA was the most appropriate intervention. Most of these subjects either had pain and functional loss profiles that were less than half that of typical patients undergoing TKA or they had no joint space narrowing.” If you have suffered illness or injury from unnecessary medical treatment, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to.
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