Posted June 14, 2019 | Elite PT News
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. 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 patient and health care team.
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 can be 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 very risky. In most cases, starting with physical therapy is the right choice, and for many patients, PT is the only treatment necessary.