Do I need surgery for my knee osteoarthritis?

Do I need surgery for my knee osteoarthritis?

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Knees seem to be the flavour of the month.

This May, articles discussing knee pain have featured not just at BJC Health, but also in the Australian physiotherapy magazine and most recently in the Guardian. Read it here

This article does a great job answering a few urban myths about knees, including why knees click and it also touches on knee osteoarthritis.

What I think was a great discussion point raised by the Guardian was "Does having severe osteoarthritis on a scan mean I need surgery?"

There is increasing evidence that suggests that there is poor correlation between findings of a knee X-ray/ MRI and a person's pain and their ability to carry out their day to day activity.

If your GP tells you, your X-ray shows that your knees have severe "wear and tear"or that your knee is now "bone on bone", breathe a sigh of relief! Surgery is not your only option!

There is still a good chance that severely arthritic knees can be managed well conservatively with weight loss and the right strength training. Read Sarah's blog from a few weeks ago if you want to know more.

From a physio's perspective, it seems that surgeons are increasingly treating people more holistically.  Their treatment options are based more on their patient's symptoms and function as opposed to  scans results alone. Surgery for knee osteoarthritis is only called upon when those with severe knee pain and have failed to improve with a good go at weight loss and exercise management.

Knee pain is exceptionally common both on and off the sporting field. It’s great to see that there has been some media coverage on it of late.

If you still have more questions about knees after reading these articles please give one your BJC Health physios a call.

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