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  • Writer's pictureMr Simon Garrett

Why Knee Surgery Isn't Always the Answer for Knee Pain

Knee Pain

Knee pain is an issue that plagues individuals of all ages, from athletes to the elderly. It can result from several factors, including overuse, injuries, arthritis, or underlying medical conditions. Despite this, a prevalent misconception that frequently circulates is that knee pain requires surgery. This blog post intends to dispel this myth and provide alternative approaches to managing knee pain effectively. By separating fact from fiction, we can arm ourselves with accurate information about knee pain and treatment options.

Myth 👉 "Knee Pain Means You Need Surgery"

Fact 👉 Knee pain doesn't always require surgery.

While surgery may be a viable option for certain knee conditions, it is not the only solution, nor is it the first line of treatment in many cases. Knee pain can be attributed to various causes, ranging from minor injuries to chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. It's essential to consult a healthcare professional who specialises in orthopaedics to evaluate your specific condition and recommend the most suitable treatment plan.

Non-Surgical Options for Knee Pain Management:

1. Physical Therapy: A tailored physical therapy program can be highly effective in reducing knee pain and improving joint function. Physical therapists can guide patients through exercises that strengthen the muscles around the knee, enhancing stability and flexibility.

2. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help manage mild to moderate knee pain. However, these should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

3. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for knee health. Excess weight places additional stress on the knee joints, potentially worsening pain. A balanced diet and regular exercise can aid in weight management and reduce strain on the knees.

4. Assistive Devices: Using assistive devices like knee braces or orthotics can provide support and alleviate pressure on the knee joint during daily activities.

5. Injections: Corticosteroid injections can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief in certain cases of knee pain. Additionally, viscosupplementation injections may be recommended for patients with knee osteoarthritis.

6. Low-Impact Exercise: Engaging in low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling, can strengthen the muscles around the knee without putting excessive stress on the joint.

7. Rest and Ice: Resting the knee and applying ice can help reduce swelling and discomfort, especially after physical activities.

When Surgery May Be Appropriate:

Surgery is typically considered when conservative treatments (such as the ones listed above) have not provided adequate relief, and the knee condition significantly affects daily life and mobility. Some situations where surgery might be recommended include:

1. Severe Trauma: In cases of severe knee injuries, such as fractures or torn ligaments, surgical intervention may be necessary for proper healing and restoration of joint stability.

2. Advanced Arthritis: For individuals with severe arthritis causing persistent pain and joint damage, joint replacement surgery, such as total knee replacement, may be advised to improve joint function and quality of life.

3. Specific Conditions: Certain knee conditions, like meniscal tears or certain ligament injuries, may require surgical repair or reconstruction for optimal recovery.


The myth that "knee pain means you need surgery" is not accurate, and many cases of knee pain can be effectively managed with non-surgical approaches. It is essential to seek professional medical advice to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your individual knee condition.

By exploring non-surgical options and working closely with healthcare professionals, individuals can find relief and improve their knee health, ultimately leading to a more active and pain-free life. Remember, knowledge is the key to making informed decisions about our health, so let's bust this myth and empower ourselves with accurate information!

If you would like a further investigation into your ongoing knee pain, you can make an appointment to see me at one of my private clinics in Dorset. We'll aim to get you back on your feet as quickly and comfortably as possible.


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