The December 2015, Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, featured a Review Article titled Establishing Realistic Patient Expectations Following Total Knee Arthroplasty. The abstract begins with the following sentence “nearly 20% of patients are dissatisfied following well-performed total knee arthroplasty with good functional outcomes.” It continues, “surgeons must understand the drivers of dissatisfaction to minimize the number of unhappy patients following surgery.” There are several studies that have shown unfulfilled expectations are a principal source of patient dissatisfaction following a joint replacement including a failure to relieve pain, improve walking ability, return a patient to sports, and improve psychological well-being. In my previous career as a joint replacement surgeon, it became all too apparent that patients were overly optimistic with regard to expected outcomes following surgery. Published data on clinical and functional outcomes following joint replacement show that persistent symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and failure to return to preoperative levels of function, are common and normal. I thought I should repeat realistic expectations after a Bone Marrow Aspirate/Stem Cell intervention for an arthritic joint based on my data over three and a half years of said procedures for arthritis allowing you to decide which is the next best procedure for you.

First and foremost, the fall back position of an unsatisfactory Bone Marrow Aspirate/Stem Cell intervention at any joint is a repeat procedure for which we have supporting data that a second intervention actually does better than a first. Compare the latter to the rescue of a failed or unsatisfactory joint replacement, a complex major surgical procedure called a revision. The outcome of a repeat Bone Marrow Aspirate/Stem Cell intervention is a better result. Compare that to the outcome of a revision hip or knee replacement; namely, a better X-ray, Even though we have experiencing higher than average temperatures in the Midwest for now, my thoughts turn to skiing. My patients, who have undergone a stem cell procedure with arthritic hips and knees are either on the slopes or headed that way. While after a hip replacement, I will admit that some patients return to the slopes, almost none do so after a total knee prosthesis. After a revision hip or knee, forget it and plan for a cane.

While the world of joint replacement surgery is really not changing, what has been still is; I am able to get you on the slopes or at least relieve your pain with a needle and not a knife without burning any bridges. Joint replacements have a place for advanced arthritis; although Cellular Orthopedics may even now help grade four osteoarthritis.   To learn more about realistic expectations and avoid disappointment following a total joint replacement, call for an appointment      847 390 7666

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