As physical therapists we often hear our patients raise the question about choosing physical therapy or surgery. People are in pain, they learn that they have some level of tissue damage that could be repaired with surgery, but the surgery isn’t always absolutely necessary. Surgery is risky, expensive, and often leaves you unable to move functionally for awhile, perhaps even prevents you from working for a few weeks. Physical therapy is time consuming, requires dedication and effort, and does it work in preventing the need for surgery?
A research study recently addressed this dilemma with regards to meniscus tears and osteoarthritis of the knee. The study, published March 19th, in the New England Journal of Medicine, included data on 351 subjects from researchers at 7 universities and orthopedic surgery centers in different cities around the world. The results showed no significant differences in functional improvement after six months between patients who underwent surgery with postoperative physical therapy and those who received standardized physical therapy alone.
As recently reported by the APTA, this study demonstrates what physical therapists have long known,” explained APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS. “Surgery may not always be the best first course of action. A physical therapist, in many cases, can help patients avoid the often unnecessary risks and expenses of surgery. This study should help change practice in the management of symptomatic meniscal tears in patients with knee osteoarthritis.”
Physical therapist and APTA member Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, MTC, Cert MDT, chief of physical therapy at Harvard University, said, “Physical therapists are experts in improving mobility and restoring motion. The individualized treatment approach is very important in the early phases of rehabilitation in order to achieve desired functional outcomes and avoid setbacks or complications.”
Read the full APTA report by clicking here.
Journal article: Jeffrey N. Katz, Robert H. Brophy, Christine E. Chaisson, Leigh de Chaves, Brian J. Cole, Diane L. Dahm, Laurel A. Donnell-Fink, Ali Guermazi, Amanda K. Haas, Morgan H. Jones, Bruce A. Levy, Lisa A. Mandl, Scott D. Martin, Robert G. Marx, Anthony Miniaci, Matthew J. Matava, Joseph Palmisano, Emily K. Reinke, Brian E. Richardson, Benjamin N. Rome, Clare E. Safran-Norton, Debra J. Skoniecki, Daniel H. Solomon, Matthew V. Smith, Kurt P. Spindler, Michael J. Stuart, John Wright, Rick W. Wright, Elena Losina. Surgery versus Physical Therapy for a Meniscal Tear and Osteoarthritis. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013; : 130318220107009 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1301408.
For more information on topics related to physical therapy, visit the Resources section of our clinic website by clicking here.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
All Alpine Physical Therapy Alpine Soccer Team Alpine Softball Alzheimer's Disease American Cancer Society Ana Soulia Angela Listug Vap Angela Listug-Vap Ankle Sprains Antara Quinones Aquatics Audrey Elias Back Pain Balance Biking Boston Marathon Brace Hayden Brent Dodge Cancer CDC Certified Chiropractic Climbing Concussion CoreAlign Core Studio Crossfit Dance Medicine Dennis McCrea Diabetes Diane Cummins Diva Day Dr. Liz Walker Eating Emily Jones Ergonomics Events Excercises Fall Prevention Fall Prevention Awareness Day Fishing Fitness Fit To Fight Foot Pain Functional Dry Needling Gary Gales Golf Good Food Store Headaches Health Her Health Hiking Hip Pain Jamie Terry Jeannette Kittredge Jessica Kehoe Jonathan Hoffman's Foundation Training Josie Sweeney Kayla Johnson Kerri Houck Knee Pain Kristi Moore Leah Versteegen Lindsy Campbell Linsey Olson Low Back Pain LYMPHEDEMA Mary Mischke Matt Schweitzer MISA Missoula Marathon Missoula's Choice Moms Montana Geriatric Society Morgan York Singer Morgan York-Singer MT Alpha Cycling National Cancer Institute National Falls Awareness Neck Pain Oncology Rehab Program Pain Pamela Pack Peak Health & Wellness Center Peak Triathlon Pelvic Pain Physical Therapy Physical Therapy (Journal) Pilates Primal Practice Relay For Life Resources Roger Sperry Ron Clijsen Ron Veilleux Runner's Edge Running Samantha Glaes Sam Schmidt Sarah McMillan Shoulder Pain Sitting Skiing Skye Folsom Soccer Spine Magazine Spine Rehab Sports STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents Tai Chi Tamarack Brewing Company Tara Mund The Runner's Clinic Tips Travis Dye Ultrasound Imaging University Of Montana Urinary Incontinence Walking Wellness Wellness Program Westside Dance Physical Therapy Who Is Perfect? Women's Health
Connect with us
Get to know us better. Our social media platforms are a great way to learn about our staff, upcoming events, newest technology, patient stories, and more.
who we are
Leading innovation in health and wellness for our community, delivering compassionate care, and inspiring through education.
Know what’s new. Plus, get a free consultation!
Copyright © 2019 Alpine Physical Therapy • All Rights Reserved
Site by Aesir Consulting
Site by Aesir Consulting