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Dr. Steven Teutsch, an adjunct professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a collaborator with the UCLA Center for Health Advancement at the Fielding School, was quoted in The New York Times’ Personal Health column.
For the vast majority of patients with debilitating knee pain, joint replacement surgery is considered an “elective” procedure.
While it’s true that one’s life doesn’t depend on it, what about quality of life? Many people hobbling about on painful knees would hardly regard the surgery as optional. Consider, for example, two people I know: a 56-year-old man passionate about tennis who can no longer run for a bus, let alone on the court, and a 67-year-old otherwise healthy woman with bone-on-bone arthritis who can’t walk without a cane or stand for more than a few minutes.