Tissue Regeneration has become the new standard for Grades 2 and 3 arthritis. Three years ago, I anticipated the future recognizing that the risks of joint replacement surgery were not fully taken into account when a surgeon recommended a new hip, knee or shoulder. Certainly, in advanced arthritis (Grade 4) there is little alternative for pain relief and restoration of function; but for Grades 2 and 3, do the risks outweigh the benefits?   What is not taken seriously enough are the risks inherent in a surgical procedure. A recent scientific article reminds us of those risks.

“Knee, hip replacements might be bad for the heart short-term.”

“Contrary to some recent research, Boston-based researchers found osteoarthritis patients who had total knee or hip arthroplasty procedures were at increased risk of myocardial infarction in the early post-operative period. Their findings, published Aug. 31 in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, indicate long-term risk of heart attack did not persist, while the risk for venous thromboembolism remained years after the procedure.”

Up until 2001, the patient undergoing a joint replacement was discharged on post operative day four or five. Any complications taking place were reported as a postoperative morbidity, rarely, as a mortality. Today, a patient will leave the hospital between 23 and 36 hours following a joint replacement. Should, if, or when a complication ensues, it may never be recorded as a readmission to another hospital if not registered. Medicare has started penalizing hospitals for high readmission rates within 30 days of a discharge but this is only a recent development and doesn’t as of yet, include readmissions to a second location.

Last time, I indicated I would start updating the reader with new developments in the field of   Regenerative Medicine. The goal of regenerative therapies is to modulate the stages of healing including inflammation, cell migration and proliferation. We do this though use of tissue grafts such as Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate.

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