The meniscus is a sliver of joint cartilage that acts as a cushion in your knee. Older adults who have osteoarthritis of the knee often suffer meniscus tears. Marathon runners and other extreme athletes also suffer from them. With a torn meniscus your knee is painful and swollen, and it may feel as if it “catches” and “locks” in place.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, about 400,000 people per year have surgery to repair a torn meniscus. But in recent years, some orthopedists failed to see a clear relationship between knee pain and meniscus tears.
In fact, in MRI scans, they often saw meniscus tears in people who had no pain. And in those who did have knee pain with their tears, they also had osteoarthritis, which could be the real reason for their pain.
Furthermore, not everyone improves after the meniscus surgery. And that’s putting it lightly…
“Highly questionable” practice continues, despite evidence
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal compared surgery to simple physical activity for people who had knee pain and a torn meniscus. They found surgery offered no additional benefit compared to physical activity.
The BMJ editors concluded the surgery is “a highly questionable practice without supporting evidence of even moderate quality. Good evidence has been widely ignored.”
So, after millions of surgeries, it may be the wrong operation for the wrong problem.
Once again, in the era of supposed “evidence-based” medicine, it seems as though the evidence doesn’t matter when doctors still perform lucrative but useless surgeries.
In the Times article, Dr. Gordon Guyett, a medical professor at McMaster University in Canada said doctors should not even offer the surgery to patients. “I personally think the operation should not be mentioned. We have randomized clinical trials that suggest the procedure is next to useless. If there is any benefit it is very small, and there are downsides, expenses, and potential complications.”
Dr. Guyett says when patients are properly informed, “I cannot imagine that anybody would say, ‘Go ahead, I will go for it.’”
And why should they, when there are better, safer, natural alternatives?
“I cancelled my knee surgery”
I personally know people who cancelled their knee surgery after two to three months of taking what I call the ABCs of joint health — ashwaganda, boswellia and turmeric at doses each from 250 mg – 500 mg per day.
As I have told you for years, you should never resort to any “pain-relieving” surgery unless you have tried everything else, including acupuncture, bodywork, chiropractic, energy work, dietary supplements, herbal remedies, massage, mind-body therapies, and spinal manual adjustment, and nutritional supplements.
To learn more about these herbal remedies and the other natural approaches that can save you from knee surgery, I encourage you to check out my new Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol.
“Why ‘Useless’ Surgery Is Still Popular,” New York Times (www.newyorktimes.com) 8/3/2016