by Dr. Michael Baranov, PT, July 29, 2015
If you are a local resident and are looking to get in touch with a knee pain specialist in Fresh Meadows, a good rule-of-thumb exists for the majority knee injuries. Should your symptoms fail to dissipate in a day or two with any home remedies you may have tried, we suggest that you set up an appointment with one of our clinical experts here at MBF Rehab. We will perform a detailed evaluation your condition and pain. The same rule-of-thumb can also be applied to chronic knee pain that is experienced with ostoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis Knee Pain and Physical Therapy
If you suffer a knee injury that makes it almost impossible to walk, you need to get it evaluated by a knee pain specialist in Fresh Meadows as soon as possible. Doing this may also save you from excessive costs and the side effects from more aggressive treatments like surgery.
Don’t Take Our Word for It – It’s Clinically Proven…See a Physical Therapist First
Over the last decade, there have been two significant research studies that have compared the results of physical therapy treatment to arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. Here are the conclusions of both of those studies:
First, the 2002 Study that demonstrated that knee arthroscopy was no better than placebo for knee osteoarthritis:
At no point did either of the intervention groups report less pain or better function than the placebo group. For example, mean (+/-SD) scores on the Knee-Specific Pain Scale (range, 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more severe pain) were similar in the placebo, lavage, and débridement groups: 48.9+/-21.9, 54.8+/-19.8, and 51.7+/-22.4, respectively, at one year (P=0.14 for the comparison between placebo and lavage; P=0.51 for the comparison between placebo and débridement) and 51.6+/-23.7, 53.7+/-23.7, and 51.4+/-23.2, respectively, at two years (P=0.64 and P=0.96, respectively). Furthermore, the 95 percent confidence intervals for the differences between the placebo group and the intervention groups exclude any clinically meaningful difference.
In this controlled trial involving patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, the outcomes after arthroscopic lavage or arthroscopic débridement were no better than those after a placebo procedure.
Then there was this study that compared knee arthroscopy for knee osteoarthritis to physical therapy treatment which found that surgery was no better than PT. It’s obvious that before you go under the knife, you should try physical therapy first.
The study found that knee surgery is no better than physical therapy, combined with comprehensive medical management, at relieving the pain and stiffness of moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
According to physical therapist Christopher M Powers, PhD, PT, director of the Biokinesiology program and co-director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab at the University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, “Many times knee pain is associated with abnormal movement patterns that cause increased stress on the joint. Arthroscopic surgery does little to correct the dynamic factors that may be contributing to knee pain and pathology. These findings reinforce the need for a comprehensive treatment approach for such patients.”
The NEJM study adds to a growing body of evidence supporting physical therapy for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.
When To Get Help For Knee Pain
If you have suffered a serious traumatic injury from a fall, car accident, a wound, cancer, fracture (broken bone) or infection, then you should see a medical doctor right away. However if you can barely walk on your knee, or have pain from a sprain, strain, or osteoarthritis, you should see one of our clinicians. Come to us first. If you need a referral to a medical doctor, we will do that right away.
Failure to see a knee pain specialist may significantly slow the healing process.
If you experience any symptoms in or around your knee, or recently suffered a knee injury where the pain won’t go away, contact us today to set up an appointment.