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Can the gap in the knee joints be reduced with surgery?

Q: My mother is 57 years old and suffering from a knee problem. The gap in her left knee has reduced from one side. In the x-ray, the gap between the knee joints appear to be nil from a side. Our orthopaedician has suggested for operation. But we have heard that they are not very successful and they increase the problem. She also has high BP and sugar levels.

A:If the physician has evaluated her and she has severe or end stage degenerative disease of the knee, then the only definite surgery would be total knee arthroplasty. The surgery is very dependable procedure. Since it's a major surgery, there are inherent risks and complications involved. But the success rate is generally very good and acceptable. Other alternatives to surgery are cortisone shots, synvisc injections, anti inflammatory medications, activity modifications and therapy, but if the condition is end stage, then these alternatives may not be sufficient to alleviate her symptoms.

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