Needless Knee Operations?

meniscusYesterday was mostly a rainout at the CAT II raintournament + today’s forecast might also wash out the whole day’s play. So what will tournament directors do?

According to the website, we may be faced with “POSSIBLY SHORTENED FORMATS”. Does that mean eight-game pro sets to decide main draw matches?

How would that impact the results?

How Are Your Knees?

Thanks to Jack Moter for the link to this article in the NY Times, which reports on a study that says many operations to correct meniscus tears are unnecessary.

According to the piece, “A popular surgical procedure worked no better than fake operations in helping people with one type of common knee problem, suggesting that thousands of people may be undergoing unnecessary surgery.”

So, if you are experiencing knee pain and consider an operation, you may want to read the full article. You can see it by clicking HERE

If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com

7 thoughts on “Needless Knee Operations?

  1. Looks like Mother Nature is going to be testing our scheduling skills. The good news is we were scheduled to finish Friday in singles in all but 60’s and 55’s divisions. So even if it’s a rainout today we can play one a day finishing on Sunday. Bad news for doubles is if it rains out today we will need to double up one day. Even if it rains out on Friday we would not shorten the singles format, but would have to play two singles in one day.
    Consolation could get shortened to pro sets if necessary.

    Let ‘s hope for a good day tomorrow and I think we can still get it all in.

    Larry Turville
    FL SSGP Director

  2. I may have been one who fell into the category of needless knee operation. Many years ago my sports doctor in Michigan stated that one day I would need surgery on my left knee. Three years ago, after having swelling and pain in that knee, I was scheduled for arthroscopic surgery by a noted surgen in Fort Myers. Before surgery, I decided to try physical therapy on my own at a local club by strengthening the hamstring and knee area. It worked, and I cancelled surgery . Today, I have a slight pain in that knee but it does not keep me off the courts. I wonder how many other surgeries could have been prevented with PT. My suggestion, try Physical Therapy first.

    Ron – great advice! Avoid the knife, if you can. tks, george

  3. Hey, Larry ,

    Is this the site of George’s of which you spoke last evening at the dinner, or is there another site for “commenting”?

    I only learnt of this site recently, but have loved it. It’s well done and very informative.

    Kevin

  4. Also, might there be a way to add a “link” to the tournament web site to George’s blog? No idea whether might be some sort of regulation against such things. I’ve not had much luck having my tournament pics on Flickr “linked to” on the tournament sites. Kevin

    Kevin – if you can get it done, i’d be delighted! george

  5. Note that the article excludes acute sports injuries. I’ve had meniscus surgery on both knees following tennis injuries that in one case caused my knee to occasionally lock and in the other case was painful enough to preclude playing tennis. In both cases the surgery was 100% successful with absolutely no pain or complications after recovery from the operation.

    Keith – … and you run great now! tks, george

  6. Very interesting study. It’s hard to imagine “sham” surgery being approved in a clinical trial in the U.S. these days. I have a torn meniscus that often caused a locked knee and painful swelling when I played basketball. A conservative orthopedic surgeon recommended that I stop playing basketball and postpone surgery as long as possible due to increased risk of osteoarthritis after cartilage removal. That was ~15 years ago. I now play tennis 3-4 times a week (mostly singles) wearing a neoprene sleeve on my knee, and I haven’t had any more problems or surgery (yet). Clearly each case/injury is different, but I would recommend trying everything else before undergoing the knife.

    Patient: Doc, it only hurts when I do this.
    Doc: You want my advice? Stop doing that.

  7. Early Last summer my left knee was hurting so much I went to my Orthopod friend on a Friday and asked he operate ASAP so I could recover and still do most of my summer activities. We scheduled for Monday.
    However Saturday I had a baseball game and only 9 players showed so there I was at third base. In the first inning a hard ground ball took a bad bounce (really not an error) and hit me squarely on my left kneecap. After the initial pain subsided, I noticed my meniscus issue had also subsided. I played the game got a single and double and have not had a bit of trouble since.
    My Orthpod laughed and thought that particular cure was perfectly normal..
    So don’t waste your time doing long and difficult physical therapy to fix that meniscus, just whack your kneecap and see what happens.

    Roy … That is how I fix my computer! Thanks , george

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