Exercise Physiologists, Your healthcare problem solver..

Posted on February 16, 2022 by Movement Health in , ,
An old mans hands grip his sore knee. Maybe a healthcare problem solver could help?

COVID has asked a lot of the healthcare system these past two years, acute care staff have done incredible things to keep the population safe and healthy across the pandemic and its various waves. Oppositely a lot of non-essential surgeries have been put on hold as health services focus their energies on COVID.

In the clinic I have met with a few clients who had been scheduled for knee arthroscope surgeries in early 2020 and unfortunately for them these surgeries are still yet to take place. More recently some of these surgeries have started up again, however the new problem is that now there is a couple of years’ worth of surgery waitlists for the healthcare system to begin working through.

So what is a knee arthroscope surgery?

Knee arthroscope surgeries can include procedures such as partial meniscectomy, debridement and chondroplasty; these procedures are often undertaken to support people experiencing mild-moderate knee osteoarthritis. However, a Cochrane guideline published in 2019 states,

“There is uncertainty around the current evidence to support or oppose the use of surgery in mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis.” (Palmers et al. 2019).

Is there anything else that can be done to support people experiencing mild-moderate knee osteoarthritis?

It would seem there’s high-quality evidence supporting the use of therapeutic exercise as a means of reducing pain and improving quality of life for people experiencing knee osteoarthritis (Fransen et al. 2015). Also, there is evidence to suggest that it is perfectly safe for older people experiencing knee osteoarthritis to participate in regular exercise (Quicke et al. 2015).

So what does this mean for people experiencing knee osteoarthritis?

Knee arthroscope surgery may or may not be helpful (Palmers et al. 2019). Oppositely knee exercise supervised by a healthcare professional incorporating mobility training, strength training and general fitness undertaken regularly is a safe and helpful way to manage knee osteoarthritis (Fransen et al. 2015).

You may be experiencing mild-moderate knee osteoarthritis; however you’re more than your knee. You’re an individual who has goals, or you may be unsure about where to get started with knee exercise. Exercise is a broad experience and can take various forms and whilst exercise is safe and helpful there is no one perfect knee exercise, therefore some problem solving may be required. It might be time to build your team; it might be time to get a healthcare problem solver on the team, an Exercise Physiologist perhaps?

Thanks for reading, Warwick..

Fransen M, McConnell S, Harmer AR, et al. (2015) Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee: a Cochrane systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine 49, 1554-57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095424

Palmer JS, Monk AP, Hopewell S, Bayliss LE, Jackson W, Beard DJ, Price AJ. (2019). Surgical interventions for symptomatic mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 7. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012128.pub2

Quicke JG, Foster NE, Thomas MJ, Holden MA. (2015). Is long-term physical activity safe for older adults with knee pain?: a systematic review. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 23(9), 1445-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2015.05.002