THE NEW KNEE SCAM
When an orthopedist scans your knee, he’ll tell you he’s looking for signs of a tear in the meniscus——but that’s not the whole truth. He’s really looking for dollar signs, because meniscus surgery is some of the easiest money in the business——and right now, business is booming: 700,000 operations annually at a cost of $5K a piece make it a $3.5 billion a year industry.
Well, it’s time to turn this boom into a bust, because new research proves meniscus surgery is nothing more than an expensive swindle.
In this study, researchers created a fake operation——one that looked and felt like the meniscus surgery. The doc opened the knee... spend the same amount of time poking around... asked for the same instruments... and then sealed it back up. The only thing he didn’t do was touch the meniscus or the damaged tissue around it.
This sham procedure was put knee-to-knee against the real-deal surgery in 146 meniscus patients, and it was a draw. Patients who got the phony operation reported almost the same improvements in pain, function and happiness as those who got the real McCoy.
Heck, some of them were happier: A full 96 percent of those who had the sham surgery were so tickled with the outcome they said they’d do it all over again——compared to 93 percent of those who had the real surgery.
Naturally, orthopedists are lining up to dismiss the study. Of course they are——it may not be their bread and butter, but at the very least it’s their vacation homes and Lamborghinis.
So don’t listen to them. Listen to me——because I’ve got the...
THREE KEYS TO BEATING MENISCUS PAIN
You don’t need to sign up for a phony operation to heal your own aching knees. All you need are these three keys.
KEY # 1: Lose weight
What’s your waistline have to do with your knees? Everything! Our knees weren’t designed to carry all those extra pounds. The heavier you are, the harder your knees have to work to keep it all upright and moving——and the harder they have to work, the more likely they’ll start to creak and even break.
Along with meniscus problems, obesity can cause or worsen arthritis of the knees. Lose that extra weight, and you can ease both problems at once——or, better yet, prevent them from striking in the first place.
KEY # 2: Fight inflammation
Most of the pain of a meniscus tear isn’t caused by the tear itself, but by the inflammation that comes along for the ride.
The researchers behind the new study suggest gobbling anti-inflammatory painkillers, but that’s not the right answer. Try natural inflammation fighters instead, starting with old-fashioned cod liver oil.
In many cases, meniscus pain is worsened by arthritis in the same knee——and treating the arthritis will also help you to overcome the meniscus pain. Again, pass on the meds. That same cod liver oil is like a lubricant for your joints, including the knee——and one study from Cardiff University found it can slash levels of the enzyme responsible for joint cartilage damage in osteoarthritis patients in as little as 24 hours.
KEY # 3: Physical therapy
Yes, some people consider this physical torture. But if your knee has been suffering from the one-two punch of obesity and inflammation, you may need to work it back into shape.
One study last year found that a little PT has just about the same success rate as surgery in patients with a torn meniscus——but at a fraction of the price (plus, no one slices up your knee, putting you at risk for complications up to and including infection with dangerous hospital germs).