The spin begins: ‘You may not be better off after knee surgery’

Why this post today? Because this is the beginning of the propaganda machine starting to tell us to “just take the pain pill.” Based on 146 patients, the “death panel” or rationing board will use this to deny this surgery. Orthopedics is high on the list of reimbursement cuts planned by Obama.

(CNN) — Patients who underwent simulated knee surgery fared just as well as those who got the real deal, according to a new study that’s raising eyebrows about the most common orthopedic procedure performed in the United States.


Jane asks the President if her 100 year old mother (now 105) would have gotten a pacemaker under his plan. Well now that’s a tough one … that costs a lot and maybe we will have to say, just take a pill. Priceless.

The findings, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, add to a string of papers suggesting that arthroscopic partial meniscectomy fails to help many patients. The operation typically is performed to relieve knee pain, whether from wear or from an injury.

But other doctors say it’s still too soon to draw sweeping conclusions.

The study, which was conducted in Finland, followed 146 patients between the ages of 35 and 65 with symptoms of degenerative wear and tear of the meniscus, a disk-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and thighbone. They had no detectable arthritis, suggesting that any pain was due to a problem with the meniscus.

More and video over at CNN

22 Responses to “The spin begins: ‘You may not be better off after knee surgery’”

  1. Caleb Says:

    This is going to be a hot button issue for a long time. I can not wait to hear the opinions of many on both sides of the railing.


  2. wendl Says:

    And yah, I need my Glock because I can’t run as fast as I used to.


  3. wendl Says:

    I completely ruined my knee to save the elderly neighbor lady who had fallen and hit her head on the concrete porch. She ended up with abrasions, I ended up tearing all the major ligaments in my knee, ACL, MCL, meniscus problems. I tried to stand up at first and could not. Intense pain and just joint instablity. I tried taping it up with duct tape and walked on it for about a week and it kept going out. The sounds I made when that happened were remarkable and should have been recorded.

    A week or so later I went to the ER and found out exactly how messed up I was. I did choose to have surgery to repair the ligametns. I couldn’t walk at all, the knee kept going out and I would fall down and holler. Now 7 months later I can walk deer trails, climb a little but not hike the miles I used to do. I’m 47 years old and used to rock climb. This is a giant pain in the ass for me.


  4. Sunday Morning Links: Tokyo Subway Manner Posters from the 70′s & 80′s | Says:

    […] Bunker: ‘You may not be better off after knee surgery’ Asylum Watch: From Left Field The Future Looks Fantastic! TMGGB: Your Right to be Offended, My Right to Offend CC: The Last Big Government Juggernaut FCBZ: Schadenfreude Heaven- Funniest, Best News Bloopers of 2013  Gator: LEFT PREFERS EMOTIONS TO FACTS […]


  5. Steve Dennis Says:

    Yep, let the rationalizing of the rationing begin!


  6. Invisible Mikey Says:

    The study concerns one kind of knee surgery, not other kinds of knee surgery, and no other surgical procedure. The conclusion to draw from the result is that this procedure might not be as adequate a solution to the problem of non-arthritic knee pain as had been previously assumed. It’s not a very big population of patients, but it could lead to a bigger study. I’m certainly not comfortable accepting the results of a survey of 146 patients as a final word, when this surgery is performed thousands of times a year.

    That’s exactly how science and medicine are supposed to work. You try to come up with treatments for problems, and study the results of the attempts to fix things. Over time, you improve the treatments.


    • bunkerville Says:

      I agree completely. But that is not how it will work in the future. So called “best practices” and ” standard of care ” will become cook book medicine. To do otherwise will preclude payment. Medicine will become frozen in time IMO. Innovation and experimentation of new technologies and procedures will be minimal. Thanks for your comment on this tricky topic.


    • Nancy Says:

      Well I for one can tell you that if you have a torn Meniscus if you have a good surgeon it will fix the problem. I couldn’t stand to walk when I injured mine. Had surgery and with in 4 days was as good as new except for the local pain from the surgery. With in 3 weeks 0 pain to this day and that was in 2009


      • bunkerville Says:

        Thanks nancy for your comment. Since pain is subjective and not life threatening, ortho is considered elective in most cases. Lots of luck for the orthodods.


  7. Petermc3 Says:

    Maybe you don’t need that abortion, just take the pill.


  8. loopyloo305 Says:

    Sadly, while I am sure that this is spin by the media and the government, it is also true! I worked orthopedics for awhile when I was nursing and knew some whom saw no improvement and a few who were worse. One of my friends who was also a nurse, had the surgery and told me she wished that she had not. She had surgery again and never had relief. But like everything else, every patient was different. My nursing instructors was very good at reminding us that the patients do not read the text books. Something that those in power seem to assume, one size fits all, and it is totally nuts!


    • bunkerville Says:

      I worked in healthcare as well, and agree that too much surgery is done. Having said that I am such a cynic that cnn just happened to carry this story. I know how the panel will work. They will decide, not the patient and Doctor.


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