Knee replacement surgery should be avoided if at all possible. Many websites promoting it have Google ads for at least one good alternative to the surgery.
I've known a few amazing people who have had knee replacement surgery. These people tend to be those who make quick decisions - very decisive, strong individuals. For most of their lives, their decisiveness has worked very well for them.
But there are quite a few medical procedures which are oversold to the general public.
These procedures are presented as quick and highly reliable solutions to very common problems. In the case of knee pain - commonly caused by osteoarthritis - those individuals who have been very active throughout their lives are open to quick solutions presented by medical professionals.
The activities of the operating theater have been glorified extensively by various highly popular TV programs, and the heroics of surgeons are revered by the presenters and admired by the public.
So, when you look at one of the sites promoting knee replacement surgery, you typically see a very matter of fact type presentation which seems to give the impression that this procedure is the best of modern medical science.
You might even watch a video of the operation itself. Depending on the video, it's surprising that most potential surgery prospects aren't deterred just by the video. Many likely are.
One of my friends who had the procedure done actually had it done twice.
He was definitely a very strong individual. Brad was a recovered heroin addict who founded Stout Street Foundation, a non-profit drug rehab program which has been highly successful for certain addicts.
He could take pain - severe pain - better than anyone I've ever known.
Because of his addiction to drugs, he refused to use morphine and other strong pain medications. Whether morphine was administered immediately after the operation, I don't know. But I do know that as soon as he was able to make his own decisions, he refused to use anything stronger than aspirin.
The pain was excruciating. Even months after the operation, when he was moving around very well, the pain, at times, was more than most of us could bear.
For Brad, there was likely not another alternative.
For most of us, though, there are very viable alternatives to the surgery.
Brad's knees wore out because he carried a lot of extra weight - nearly 400 pounds, and sometimes more. His original equipment knees wore out, but the artificial knees wore out much more quickly - which is why he required a second knee replacement surgery.
One website claims that half of the general population will have osteoarthritis in the knees by age 65 - and 75% by age 75. The same site says that half a million knee replacement surgeries are performed each year.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says more than 600,000 knee placement procedures are performed every year.
This means more than 6 million artificial knees are installed every 10 years.
If osteoarthritis is responsible for such huge numbers of people losing their knee cartilage at a relatively young age, how can we not be aware of easy ways to avoid osteoarthritis? The easy way to avoid it has to do with diet.
Most people don't want to have to control their diets.
I guess we all want to eat whatever we want to eat. I know that I would like to be able to eat all the delicious foods I enjoyed for most of my life - including breads, desserts, pizza, French fries, hamburgers and pasta - along with all the great beverages, including all the wonderful beers, soft drinks and coffee.
I've gradually learned during the last couple of decades that the rewards of learning to enjoy certain other foods while avoiding most of the stuff listed above, are very great.
Maybe the biggest culprit as far as setting the stage for osteoarthritis and the knee pain that goes with it is wheat and other gluten containing grains.
Wheat is commonly used in huge numbers of packaged food products.
Wheat is the main ingredient in all the breads and other baked goods we've learned to enjoy.
This connection is made very clearly with great detail in Dangerous Grains, by James Braley, M.D., and Ron Hoggan, M.A.
The connection is also substantiated by many other sources which can be found by Googling <i>celiac and osteoarthritis</i>.
Celiac is the condition clearly identified by Dr. Braley and many other physicians as being the result of gluten sensitivity. Dr. Braley also presents evidence that celiac disease is far more prevalent than is generally supposed by the medical community in general. It's possible that almost everyone on the planet is gluten sensitive.
Celiac mimics hundreds of other diseases - including arthritis - both rheumatoid and oesteo.
If we can avoid or even facilitate the reversal of arthritis through diet, it would seem very worthwhile to go through the dietary changes to do so.
I would personally much rather give up dietary habits based on taste preferences and adopt new eating habits based on solid health benefits than be involved in procedures such as knee replacement surgery.
Much of the medical community asserts that our bodies cannot regenerate joint cartilage. But there's substantial evidence to indicate otherwise.
There's at least one book published by an individual who has proven that cartilage can be regenerated. The proof is strictly anecdotal, which means that the proof is meaningless to members of the medical community.
Anecdotal evidence is anything but meaningless. It often contains very useful information.
The book, Saving My Knees: How I Proved My Doctors Wrong by Richard Bedard, is apparently only available as a Kindle book.
In a blog the author summarizes his experience with just enough information to cause me to want to buy his book - which I may do if I can find a way to avoid having to buy a Kindle.
Or, maybe it makes sense to buy a Kindle.
Mr. Bedard says he damaged his knees while riding his bicycle up steep hills. He was in his mid forties. After months of therapy didn't help much, he visited an orthopedic doctor, who said his knees would never improve - and in fact, they would deteriorate into osteoarthritis in several years.
Richard Bedard is clearly an exceptional individual. As with many such individuals, the orthopedist's negative pronouncement pushed him into using his journalistic research skills to discover the information needed to design his own self-directed recovery program.
Headline: Bad cartilage can heal and get stronger.
Bedard says, One discovery above all gave me the courage to persevere: Bad cartilage can heal and get stronger. That claim may seem remarkable. Yet it has been validated by medical studies. I wrote "Saving My Knees" partly because -- to my astonishment -- no knee book I knew of cited these studies and explored their implications.
Is this man's experience a fluke? Was there something highly unusual about his knees or his intellect, or other self-healing capability?
Other information given by his short blog indicates otherwise.
He cites some studies he found which indicate that fresh knee cartilage has regrown in knees with very severe damage - even where cartilage had been worn down to the bone.
In the end, what I learned about knee cartilage gave me hope, but also left me stunned. Why didn't any of my four orthopedic doctors mention a single one of these studies? Why isn't more being done to investigate the conditions under which cartilage heals and strengthens without surgical intervention?
His book apparently details a nearly two-year long recovery, after which his knees were good as new. Good as new? Maybe so, maybe not. He says they're fine and make much less noise. Presumably, the pain is greatly reduced, or maybe gone.
Numbers provided by sites advocating knee replacement surgery seem to indicate that roughly half of us are doomed to suffer the agony of arthritic knees. That means half of us are not.
That's a lot of bum knees - but it also indicates a lot of knees which are working very well.
Some number of the 50% of the aging population not suffering from arthritic knees may be otherwise adversely affected, but there's lots of visual evidence of very active seniors walking, swimming, running and pedaling their way through relatively pain-free activity.
My guess is that many more could be enjoying the full use of their original equipment knees if orthopedic doctors were typically informing their patients of other ways of achieving full mobility - ways other than knee replacement surgery.
There are lots of knee exercises which can be used to strengthen your knees, and to improve knee cartilage. Common sense would indicate that the dietary changes necessary to avoid arthritis should be used in conjunction with the knee exercise.
Some of us exercise our knees every day throughout the day - almost non-stop. But if you have a sedentary job and enjoy lots of donuts along with other wheat- and sugar-filled foods, you may have unwittingly discovered a lethal combination for your knees and other joints.
I know that some very active individuals seem to wear out their knees - and that arthritis is often, maybe even always, the accompanying factor.
Why not enjoy a wheat-free diet, avoid arthritis, and keep your original equipment knees?
If you have arthritis, you can actually reverse the condition by fully implementing a drastic change in your diet. Completely avoid wheat, barley, rye, and even oats - any grain containing gluten.
I first read this information in Dr. Braley's book, Dangerous Grains, discussed above.
In case you still don't believe it, next time your browser is open, go a keyword search on this phrase: wheat and arthritis. Read carefully, though, because some sites say that whole wheat is fine. Some say to just limit yourself to whole wheat.
Don't believe it!
There's an article appearing on the arthritistoday.org site saying that whole wheat is great. If you read it, read the responses that follow. Most were written by people whose experience contradicts the idea the whole wheat and whole grains in general are okay for sufferers of arthritis.
If you're skeptical and don't want to give up your Wheaties, buy a copy of Dangerous Grains and read it thoroughly.
Another sacred cow is dairy products - pun intended.
Why do so many Americans drink so much milk throughout their lives? Primarily because the American Dairy Association has been so successful in promoting milk as a necessary food for great health.
Notice that cows stop drinking milk once they're yearlings - maybe sooner. Maybe if a cow is dehydrated, she might try to suckle another cow.
Milk is actually hard for us to digest. Most humans are allergic to milk and other dairy products. The only time this is noticed is when the allergy is extreme.
Maybe the hardest dairy product to give up is ice cream.
Fortunately the health food industry has been able to provide lots of very healthy alternatives to ice cream and most other dairy products.
Searching on are artifical knees toxic produced over 43 million sites with the first one along with many others being highly informative.
One last question for those who are considering knee replacement surgery: are artifical knees toxic?
Apparently they actually are.
The moving parts in artificial knees and hips necessarily undergo lots of stress resulting in wear. Particles are generated from the friction, and the particles wind up in the blood stream.
Can you imagine going through the trauma of surgery along with the painful recovery process, then find out that the side effects of your knee replacement surgery may require additional surgeries in future - what the legal beagles call, hip and knee revision surgery?
So, not only could you experience pain, stress, inflammation, and other effects of toxicity, but you could find yourself on the table again for the repair of a faulty or poorly designed appliance.
Among the many folks whose experience with knee replacement surgery has been apparently successful, there seems to be a good chance that many are having other health issues as a result of the toxicity of particles from normal wear and tear. The other health issues many not be directly traced to the knee hardware, but it may be the cause nonetheless.
Heavy metal poisoning is cited as a problem for some recipients of artificial knees including cobalt and chromium poisoning. Even plastic particles are many times very problematic, as well as particles from ceramic joints.
No small number of physicians are now reluctant to recommend knee replacement surgery to their patients who experience continuous severe knee pain. There are numerous medical alternatives to the surgery as well as non-medical alternatives - including the dietary changes outlined above.