Joint Replacement Surgery:
You Need to Know about Joint Replacement Surgery
Dr. Ben Kim
1997, I've evaluated and worked with about two dozen people who have had knee
or hip replacement surgeries. A few have reported having better quality of life
following joint replacement surgery, while the majority have reported experiencing
more difficulties than they did before having surgery.
you have a severely deteriorated joint that prevents or significantly hinders
basic activities of daily living, I think that joint replacement surgery is an
option worth considering. But I think it's critical to do two things before undergoing
everything possible with your dietary and lifestyle choices to reduce strain on
the deteriorated joint(s), namely:
overweight, strive to get lean for your structure.
a predominately plant-based diet that is rich in healthy fats and low in animal
you cannot improve your situation within a reasonable amount of time by working
on your dietary and lifestyle choices, be sure to get a second opinion before
opting for surgery, and check to see if the orthopedic surgeons that you consult
with have financial ties to companies that manufacture artificial joints.
for financial ties between orthopedic surgeons and joint makers is important,
as history tells us that the highest profit margin - not the model that best suits
each patient's needs - is what determines the choices that some orthopedic surgeons
make for their patients.
2007, a United States Department of Justice investigation revealed that many orthopedic
surgeons received substantial "consulting fees" for using the paying company's
artificial joint products. Five of the top artificial joint makers in the United
States were charged with criminal conspiracy to violate anti-kickback laws.
companies involved escaped criminal prosecution by agreeing to a settlement that
called for 18 months of federal monitoring. Zimmer Corporation, DePuy Orthopaedics
(a division of Johnson & Johnson), Smith & Nephew, and Biomet Orthopedics
agreed to pay $311 million in fines. Stryker Orthopedics avoided a fine by being
the first company to cooperate in the Justice Department's investigation.
how do you check for financial ties between the surgeons you visit and the joint
makers mentioned above? By visiting the joint makers' Web sites, where, as a part
of the settlement, they provide lists of their consultants' names and how much
their consultants have been paid. The companies are required to keep these lists
published on their Web sites until March of 2009.
for the section on "Compliance," or "Company Consultants - Identifications and
Payments" at the following sites:
Corporation - Click on "Company Consultants - Identifications and Payments
at the top of the site.
and Nephew - Look for the section on "Compliance" at the lower right section
of the site.
Orthopaedics - Click on "DePuy Orthopaedics" to get to another site that has
a section on "Company Consultants."
Young, publisher of Orthopedics This Week, had this to say about the
settlement between these companies and the Justice Department:
"The dollar figures
were a little higher than expected, but this is being viewed as a speeding ticket
for these companies."
Young went on to say that the government might now turn its attention to smaller
companies that manufacture artificial joints, as the smaller companies typically
have extensive financial relationships with their doctor customers.
if you have a severely deteriorated knee or hip joint, and you don't feel hopeful
about improving your situation with your diet and lifestyle, I believe that it
is worth your while to consider joint replacement surgery. By doing some research
using the Web sites referenced above, you should be able to find an orthopedic
surgeon who will help pick the best artificial joint device for your situation.
share this article with family members and friends who may be considering joint
replacement surgery. Thank you.
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