The reason I am writing this is because we are all being bombarded by news of procedures that may benefit us medically. This has always been the case throughout history. We have a pain and we want to get rid of it so we are open to suggestions from legitimate or illegitimate purveyors of the miracle cure.
Nothing new in that, of course. Snake oil or modern supplements are often one and the same.
My warning is about the hyaluronic lubricant which is being marketed under various names for injecting into an arthritic joint. Synvisc is one of them which claim to replace the loss of synovial fluid which lubricates the joint.
Granted that in some cases the injection has helped, although reading up on it makes one wonder how much of the cure is actually placebo.
In my case I paid the $700 and endured the painful injection in the hope that it would get rid of the pain in my knee. I did some reading on it and the specialist told me that there was an 80% chance of improvement.
In medicine these stakes are encouraging. He told me that 20% of patients get no improvement.
So what did I have to lose apart from the money? I would be no worse off and there would be a good chance that I would be better off.
Well, as it turned out, following the initial few weeks of painful swelling which I accepted as part of the experience of getting rid of the pain, I ended up ith much more pain than I had started with.
I wish I had never had the injection.
I wish I had done more research and found the articles in which they are questioning the genuine benefits of such injections.
The statistic of 20% of no benefit didn’t mention that the procedure could actually cause more pain and you could be worse off.
Had that been mentioned then I would not have taken the risk.
My final point on the subject is that if Synvisc lubricants are so beneficial they would be subsidised by Medicare. After all, knee replacements for seniors are an expensive drain on the government.
Consequently, any procedure that postpones such operations must surely be a bonus for the government who have to face the pitfalls of an aging society.
As with everything in life there’s a risk, but when it comes to medical treatment the stakes are terribly high.
As someone said, “did you know that the word “gullible” does not appear in the dictionary?”
If you rushed to your copy of the dictionary, have I got a panacea for you!