Surgery can’t fix every problem

Surgery CAN’T fix every problem. We’ve been sold this idea that surgery is the solution for just about anything that hurts. But I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case! When surgery is appropriate, it can be life saving…. But for most pains you will experience in your life it shouldn’t be an option at all. I suspect in the near future (25 or so years) a lot of the silly orthopedic surgeries that are performed everyday right now will be non-existent.

I’m going to give you  a list of silly surgeries that have been proven to be no better than sham surgery. Don’t take my word for this, i f you want an even deeper dive in this, check out this New York Times article! 

But first let’s talk about what sham surgery is.

Sham surgery (placebo surgery) is a faked surgical intervention that omits the step thought to be therapeutically necessary.They literally cut into you and fake the surgery then sew you up and pretend like they did the surgery. It’s a test to see how you respond.

List of surgeries proven to not work compared to sham surgery:

  • Spinal Fusion. While this might solve a short term problem it creates 2 more long term problems that just get worse over time and lead to multiple more surgeries. 
  • Rotator cuff / Labrum surgery. Most people are worse off after surgery. Nothing is actually repaired, pieces are only cut out. Range of motion is generally less after surgery than before it.
  • Meniscus surgery. This is by far the most popular surgery in America. Over 400,000 procedures are performed each year. Guess what? Nothing is actually repaired. The surgeon just cuts a piece of your meniscus out. Your meniscus is the shock absorber for your thigh bone and shin bone. If you cut a piece of it out, you now have a compromised joint that will degenerate faster and eventually lead to a high likelihood of needing a total knee replacement. 

Surgeons like to use scare tactics like “if you don’t take care of this, you’ll be paralyzed” but when you try to look for the statistics on these statements, there’s none… meaning it’s super rare and very unlikely to happen. At best there is a 1 in 2100 chance this could possible happen. For context there is a 1 in 108 chance you will die in a car crash. So odds are this statement is a scare tactic with little real world consequence.

You can live with a torn rotator cuff.
You can live with a herniated disc.
You can live with a torn meniscus.

And guess what? You can have all of these and not have any pain at all and not need surgery. In my experience, no doctor has every told their patient that. 

It’s entirely possible to live well and get back to your old life without surgery. You might have to make minor adaptions. You might have to take some preventative maintenance like physical therapy, you might require some maintenance orthopedic acupuncture but you can live well without the risks of unnecessary surgery.

A better, non-surgical option – orthopedic acupuncture which is the most comprehensive holistic orthopedic approach available. 

The body is one single unit. You can’t try to separate the body like it’s a bunch of separate mechanical pieces.

You can’t just treat muscles and tendons. 

You can’t just treat fascia.

You can’t just treat inflammation.

You can’t just treat nerves.

You have to take into account all of the structures, all of the nerves, all of the connective tissue, and all of the metabolic components. Then you have to consider how everything works as a cohesive unit.

So a specialized orthopedic acupuncture treatment will be comprehensive and address ALL of the potential issues that are causing your body to not be able to heal itself.

As always, reach out by texting/calling my Orthopedic Acupuncture & Dry Needling clinic in Tampa, FL at 813-534-0311 or email me at

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Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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