Recent research is showing that surgery might not be needed as often as we think. A large review estimates that 10% to 20% of surgeries might be unnecessary and that in some specialties such as cardiology and orthopedics, that number might be higher. The reasons for so many unneeded surgeries being performed are varied, but the most common are that more conservative options aren't tried first, or lack of knowledge by the operating physician.
Physicians undergo long and rigorous training programs to become surgeons, but if they don't work hard to keep learning, their knowledge often stops growing when they leave residency. Recent research is showing that certain common surgeries aren't any better than a placebo. Two such examples are kyphoplasty - a procedure for spinal compression fractures, and partial meniscectomy - a procedure used to treat tears of the meniscus in the knee. If a surgeon hasn't continued to learn, they won't know that these surgeries often don't offer any more benefit than a non-surgical treatment and will continue to perform them.
Every surgery, even "minor" ones carry risks. These include complications from anesthesia, blood clots after surgery, delayed healing of the incision, infection, and unintended damage to nerves or other organs near the surgical site. Some of these risks cause discomfort for a period after surgery and go away, but others can result in permanent disability or even death. For some patients and conditions, surgery is a great treatment option, but with all the associated risks, when surgery can be avoided, it should be.
For musculoskeletal problems like back and joint pain, sprains, and strains, seeing your PT before a surgeon can help keep you out of the operating room and get you back to life without surgery. Studies have shown that physical therapy is just as good if not better than surgery for a multitude of conditions and carries less risk. Some examples would include rotator cuff tears, meniscal tears, spinal stenosis, low back pain, and osteoarthritis.
Physical therapy can't fix every problem, and for some patients surgery is the best choice. However, research is showing that surgery isn't a cure-all, and is sometimes just a very expensive and risky placebo. In most cases, starting with physical therapy is the right choice, and for many patients, PT is the only treatment necessary.
New Jersey locations:
Bloomfield NJ Physical Therapy 44 Park Street Bloomfield , NJ 07003 Phone: 9736852335 Email us
Clifton NJ Physical Therapy - 1070 Clifton Ave 1070 Clifton Ave #1A Clifton , NJ 07013 Phone: 973-246-6565 Email us
Clifton NJ Physical Therapy - 1700 Rte 3 West 1700 Rte 3 West #Grnd Clifton , NJ 07013 Phone: 862-591-1000 Email us
Fair Lawn NJ Physical Therapy - Holsman Physical and Occupational Therapy 15-01 Broadway Ste 12 Fair Lawn , NJ 07410 Phone: 201-355-5199 Email us
Kearny NJ Physical Therapy 711 Kearny Ave Kearny , NJ 07032 Phone: 201-535-8555 Email us
Rahway NJ Physical Therapy 1600 Saint Georges Ave #107 Rahway , NJ 07065 Phone: 732-428-5566 Email us
Cedar Grove NJ Physical Therapy 408 Pompton Ave Cedar Grove , NJ 07009 Phone: 973-433-0732 Email us
Caldwell NJ Physical Therapy 378 Bloomfield Ave Caldwell , NJ 07006 Phone: 973-968-6002 Email us
Fair Lawn NJ Physical Therapy - Holsman Children's Therapy Center 15-01 Broadway Ste 14C Fair Lawn , NJ 07410 Phone: 201-351-1682 Email us
Newark, NJ Physical Therapy: 902 N. 5th St Suite C104, Newark, NJ 07107 Phone: 973 - 910-2300 Email us
Newark, NJ Physical Therapy 1060 Broad St #Bsmt Newark , NJ 07102 Phone: 973-457-4232 Email us
Jersey City NJ Physical Therapy 361 Montgomery St Jersey City , NJ 07302 Phone: 201-932-2656 Email us
Paterson NJ Physical Therapy 764 Main St. Suite 401 Paterson, NJ 07503 Phone: 973-705-7255 Email us
New York Locations:
Bronx NY Physical Therapy - 817 E 180th St 817 E 180th St Bronx , NY 10460 Phone: 718-355-9652 Email us
Bronx NY Morris Park Physical Therapy - 799 Morris Park Ave 799 Morris Park Ave Bronx , NY 10462 Phone: 718-684-6300 Email us
Brooklyn NY Physical Therapy 423 Lincoln Pl Brooklyn , NY 11238-5499 Phone: 347-708-9701 Email us
Brooklyn NY Liberty Ave 1084 Liberty Ave Brooklyn, NY 11208 Phone: 347-586-0625 Email us