The Pros and Cons of Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery, or arthroscopy, “keyhole surgery” as it is sometimes called, is generally a simple, minimally invasive surgery that, in recent years, has seen a huge swell in popularity.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 1.5 million people receive knee arthroscopies each year.

During this procedure, the surgeon makes three small incisions in your knee and then inserts the arthroscope, which is a camera the size of a pen, into your knee to visually evaluate the condition of the joint. Then repairs are made using tiny surgical instruments through the scope.

In many cases, this surgery is necessary and very beneficial to the health of the knee. An arthroscopy can fix painful torn cartilage or a torn meniscus, bone spurs, or can be used to clean out a knee that has floating pieces of cartilage or bone. Often times, the knee joint needs to be “cleaned out” and pieces of unwanted tissue are removed that cause unwanted irritation and pain.

Depending on the condition of your injury, arthroscopy is beneficial especially if something in your knee is broken or torn. However, in some cases, this surgery can and should be avoided.

I have had several clients whose doctors wanted to perform arthroscopic surgery as a type of “exploratory surgery” to see if there is anything going on in the knee that an MRI, CT, or X-ray missed. Unfortunately, this left them in more pain than before the surgery. If your doctor recommends that you have “exploratory surgery,” I would make sure and ask your doctor if it is necessary before proceeding.

No matter how “NON” invasive a surgery is, surgery is surgery. And your body faces the trauma and pain that comes with being cut and probed. The average recovery time for an arthroscopy is four to six weeks and that is assuming that the surgery was successful. It is important to weigh your options in order to determine if arthroscopic surgery is the right choice for your injury.

Arthritis Treatment for the Knee

Most people walk, run, and move around with no knee pain because the cartilage in their knees acts as the cushion for the joint.

Thank goodness for that cartilage too, because without it, even bending the knee would be extremely painful.

What begins to happen with Arthritis, Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joints is this: the cartilage begins to slowly wear away until the knee is left without any protective barrier between the bones.

Arthritis is certainly not a rare condition. The CDC reported “nearly 1 in 2 people may develop symptomatic knee [Osteoarthritis] by age 85.” A lot of the time, if nothing is done to stop the arthritis from worsening, you will be left with a bone on bone condition and your doctor will recommend knee replacement surgery.

There is, however, something you can do to stop the deterioration in your knee long before you reach that point.

Across the board, doctors will diagnose the early stages of this condition as “dehydrated knee” or “degenerative joint pain”.

Dehydrated knee occurs over time. And the pain becomes more and more chronic as the condition worsens. The pain is created by the tension your body creates to protect itself from pain. It’s ironic to be sure.

The tension pattern squeezes on the nerve endings in your knee and literally squeezes the fluid out of the joint. This fluid is what lubricates the joint and without it, the joint begins to wear.

This situation marks the beginning of an uphill battle. Water will lubricate the knee, if you drink enough of it. However, in the case of arthritis, once the joint tightens up, the water you drink won’t be able to get back into the knee to lubricate it again.

If you are able to let the nerves release the tension they are holding, the joint will slowly adjust and eventually start allowing the water you drink to get back into the joint.

To get this treatment process working for you, the first step is relaxing the tension pattern and putting your knee in what I call the “Comfort Zone”.

This arthritis treatment allows your knee to be comfortable using a daily practice of Passive Stretching that is demonstrated in my e-book and online video program, The Comfort Zone.

When you allow the nerves to calm down and stop sending messages to your brain that you are in pain… the nerves relax, the joint opens up and fluid can actually creep back into the knee joint. The cartilage begins to rehydrate and your chronic knee pain is over.

To get information about the Comfort Zone ebook and online video program click here → The Comfort Zone.

Understanding your Doctor’s Diagnosis

We’ve all done it. You’ll be sitting on that crinkly white paper, trying to listen to what your doctor is saying about your condition, but not really feeling like you have a clue as to what any of it means for you or your pain.

If you are in knee pain, your chats with your doctor about your diagnosis are especially vital.

The most important thing you want to know during your appointment is whether you have any mechanical dysfunction in your knee. This means that either something is broken or torn in the knee.

If this is the case, you will most likely need to take a conventional medical approach to healing the condition. This could mean surgery if the break or tear is severe enough.

If there is nothing mechanically wrong in the knee or if the tear is minor, you will be free to choose a more holistic method for treating your injury.

A holistic approach to knee pain applies to you whether your pain is from Arthritis or patella tendonitis, your body uses the same basic steps in order to heal itself.

When you relax your knee, the nerves calm down so that your brain stops receiving a pain message. Relaxing the knee creates a small amount of space for the nerves in your knee joint.

When there is space for all of the parts of your knee to function without being squeezed, the nerves in the knee will no longer be tense, meaning no more pain.

For you to proceed with an alternative treatment, get clear information from the doctor about the condition of your knee. You want to know that nothing is torn or broken. Then ask for a simple, plain English, explanation of your diagnosis.

With that information, you can use my method to start healing your knee pain.

How to Get Rid of Painful Scar Tissue

Scar tissue is essentially the body’s version of a Band-Aid.

Also known as fascia or connective tissue, scar tissue sticks around after an injury because it helps protect the injured area.

The tissue can be very sensitive to pain. It can also get tight over time and stay tender.

To get rid of this painful tissue, most people employ a technique called Myofascial Release, more commonly known as a “foam roller”. This technique sounds straightforward and easy, and it is.

The only downside of the foam roller method is that it is extremely painful. Putting all of your weight on the spot where you are most sensitive is not a gentle approach. Nor are the other techniques that people use like a tennis ball or knuckle to apply a deep tissue massage.

There is another way.

Working with the nervous system allows you to get to the source of the pain without hurting. Your body can be taken to a place of comfort and your nervous system will relax and let go of the tension.

When the tension is released those places with scar tissue will be less sensitive. While this method can take more time, it allows your body to release pain naturally so that your body responds and starts to heal itself.

The best approach to tender scar tissue is to combine these two methods into one. If you start by relieving the tension indirectly through the nervous system, you will desensitize the area after a week or two.

When most of the tension is released, you can utilize the direct approach and break up the remaining scar tissue with a foam roller or tennis ball. This won’t be as painful, and you will still see all of the results.

If you would like to try this out, you can watch my series of online videos called The Comfort Zone where you will find the 11 stretches that release the tension in your knees. Click here to get started with the Comfort Zone stretches.

I know this method is not your mainstream solution, but if you have trouble with painful scar tissue, passive stretching lets your nervous system unwind. And this release lets the pain melt away.

Holistic Treatment for Baker’s Cysts

If you have a Baker’s Cyst, you may not know how or why it decided to present itself in your body. The answer is that there could be a whole host of reasons.

Basically, Baker’s Cysts are the result of anything that causes joint swelling, whether that is arthritis, a torn meniscus, or an alignment issue with your femur. This swelling in the joint actually blocks the lymphatic system from cleansing the area like it normally does… this lymph blockage creates a pocket of fluid that turns into a cyst, usually in the back of your knee.

A Baker’s Cyst, if left untreated, can become hard over time and could potentially rupture, turning your cyst into a far more complicated situation.

The conventional medical approach for treating a Baker’s Cyst is to have it drained or removed. This may be the best option if you have had the cyst for a substantial amount of time or if it has turned hard.

A lot of the time, however, the cyst can be addressed without surgery or drainage. If the cyst has presented itself due to an alignment pattern in the knee, then the cyst can be treated holistically.

How the joint lines up with the femur can be the result of a lingering tension pattern from a past injury. If you fix the tension pattern by allowing your knee to be comfortable and create space in the knee joint, the alignment problem and the cyst can be treated at once.

It is possible to avoid unnecessary surgery and pain if you take action early. Not only will you be able to resolve the cyst, you will be able to relieve the tension pattern in your knee that created the cyst in the first place.

Dehydrated Knee Treatment Options

If you have been diagnosed with arthritis or bone on bone, you may have heard the physician use the term “dehydrated knee.” What this means is that the knee joint has tensed up, stopping the flow of water to the joint. When there is no water in the joint, there is no more lubrication, which can lead to a fairly painful situation.

Many times when you have been diagnosed with a dehydrated joint it is because, whether you have arthritis, degenerative issues, or a bone on bone situation, a tension pattern has emerged and you may be directed to Synvisc as a short-term resolution.

A Synvisc injection is a shot of lubricant into the knee using a long, thick needle that goes all the way into the back of the knee to rehydrate the joint. This procedure can be expensive, painful, and is not always successful. At least not long term.

My approach is a bit more holistic and, in the long run, can be a lot more beneficial to your knee and your health. If you start by bringing your knee to a place of comfort, relaxing the tension in the knee joint, the nerves relax and the pain shifts.

Getting your knee in the comfort zone, creates more space in the joint for the nerves to relax and the pain to stop.

When this happens, all that is left to do is drink water. When you drink water, the first place water goes is your vital organs to provide hydration and lubrication. If you drink enough water, then there is plenty available to allocate some to your joints, which will in turn rehydrate your knee.

If you’ve been in pain a long time, or have that diagnosis of arthritis, this may seem a bit unbelievable. You think you are doomed to a life of knee pain. But really if you release the tension in the joint and release the pressure on the nerves in there, the pain goes away.

And it’s almost immediate. So you should review the 11 stretches I recommend, you can get them in the Comfort Zone Video Stretches. And drink more water. It’s good for your knees.