What Can I Do To Help Me Avoid Knee Surgery?
Some patients suffering from knee pain will put off seeking medical advice because they fear the solution will involve surgical interventions, eventually leading to knee replacement surgery. As a leading Melbourne knee specialist, Mr Soong Chua will always prioritise the use of non-surgical approaches to your knee problems before considering whether surgery is required.
As is the case with so many health issues, the first lines of defence when it comes to knee pain involve those old favourites – diet and exercise. In this short article, we take a look at how weight loss and physical therapy may help to defer or avoid knee surgery.
Losing weight is not always easy, but your knees will thank you. The force placed on your knee joints, for example when going up or down a flight of stairs, can equate to up to six times your weight. Put another way – if you’re ten kilos overweight then you are putting up to sixty kilos of extra pressure on your knees. Even small amounts of weight loss can be enormously beneficial.
Depending upon your personal weight loss targets, Mr Soong Chua and his team may refer you to a qualified dietitian who can help you balance weight loss with getting the nutrition your body needs. They’ll also help you to maintain your new weight once you’ve reached your goal – which is crucial for the ongoing protection of your knees.
The other key factor in avoiding or deferring knee surgery is muscles strength, specifically those muscles which support your knee joints. The key muscles here are the quadriceps in front of the thigh and the hamstrings at the back. Other muscles important to knee strength and stability include the gluteal muscles and the flexors in the pelvis.
You will generally start with light exercises such as leg lifts while lying down, before progressing to more strenuous standing exercises and perhaps moving on to cycling or the use of weights.
Non-surgical approaches can provide lasting relief from knee pain provided both weight control and exercise are integrated into your lifestyle. However, there are no guarantees, and if knee surgery is eventually required, Mr Soong Chua will advise you on the full range of suitable options, from arthroscopy to knee reconstruction to robotic total knee replacement.
For further information on knee surgery procedures, please refer to our Procedures pages.