At our clinic, we continue to see an inordinate number of post-arthroscopy patients that continue to exhibit symptoms frequently more severe than prior to the performance of the procedure. These include interventions that have been performed from 2 weeks to 2 years prior to presentation at our clinic.
Unquestionably, some patients derive benefit from arthroscopy, however the significant percentage of patients whose symptoms persist or become more severe following this surgical event, provides cause for reflection.
In the past six days alone, I have seen four patients who have had relatively recent arthroscopies but now complain of symptoms that have increased substantially subsequent to the procedure. In view of this, one should consider alternative modes of treatment for these patients.
At our clinics, we treat many knee problems with Laser Therapy and symptoms generally begin to diminish after the 2nd or 3rd treatment. Generally more significant change occurs after 5 treatments and almost invariably after 10-20 therapeutic sessions, patients are asymptomatic. On average, 10 treatments readily achieve a desirable result, administered over a course of 3-4 weeks.
In this article, we do not extensively explore the patient’s status pre-arthroscopy but simply the subjective and objective findings demonstrated at the time of the initial and subsequent assessments, as treatment progresses.
Prior to the performance of arthroscopic surgery, all these cases should be subjected to a mandatory course of Laser Therapy consisting of at least 10 sessions. This will determine whether the pathology, consisting of inflammation, structural damage, etc., can be resolved. In my experience by following this course, surgery would seldom be necessary. This commentary should be a stimulus for eliminating the extensive number of arthroscopic procedures routinely performed that may cause complications and even more significantly, may be unnecessary.