U.S. hospitals performed more than 100,000 surgeries on older patients during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new Lown Institute analysis. The healthcare think tank relied on Medicare claims data and analyzed eight common low-value procedures. It called the 100,000 procedures unnecessary and potentially harmful in a press release. It found that between March and December 2020, among the most-performed surgeries were coronary stents and back surgeries. Knee arthroscopies were amongst the top procedures to blame.
On the other hand, I am an orthopedic surgeon and when a surgical procedure is indicated, a successful outcome can be a major game-changer in life. For over 37 years, I specialized in total hip and total knee replacements during which time, I integrated patient care with research and education. 12 years ago, I “graduated” to Regenerative Medicine and again combined patient care with research and education; the latter through scientific publication. As evidence of my ongoing efforts, this morning, a manuscript Titled Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of Cryopreserved Human Umbilical Cord Tissue Allograft for the Supplementation of Cartilage Defects Associated to Knee Arthritis: An Observational Data Collection Study was submitted to a scientific journal for publication.
As an illustration of the indication for surgery versus the Role of Regenerative Medicine, I will cite the patient who presented to my office this morning with a painful knee and intermittent swelling for six months duration following a traumatic event. An avid tennis enthusiast, the pain and swelling were recurring after every match and required several days of rest before scheduling the next match. Prior to the knee injury, the patient was able to play multiple matches during weekend tournaments. An X-Ray and MRI taken five months ago were compatible with structural defects in the articular cartilage under the patella. All ligaments and menisci were intact. The degree of arthritis depicted by the imaging led to a classification of Grade 2 Osteoarthritis. At this point in time and with the findings today on physical examination and review of images, there is a major role for Orthobiologics; that is the initiation of Regenerative Medicine. My recommendation was to begin with a hyaluronic acid injection series. If the latter did not eliminate symptoms and improve functional capacity, then Platelet Rich Plasma alternatives should be explored. Ultimately, there may be a role for stem cell containing bone marrow concentrate.
The aforementioned is an example of the role of Regenerative Medicine for musculoskeletal generated symptoms and functional limitation. Time and space limit my continuing but there are no limitations should you choose to consult with me for a symptomatic or function limiting orthopedic condition or injury. You may learn more on my website at www.sheinkopmd.com. By calling (312) 475-1893, you may schedule an office visit.