The knee is a complex collection of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and fluid that lends strength, flexibility, and stability to everyday activities like standing and walking. Knee pain is often caused by an injury or repetitive motions and can happen at any age. The physicians participating in the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center referral program offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for aches, pains, and mobility issues of the knee.
Symptoms of Knee Problems
Whether you’ve suffered a sports injury, taken a fall, or have chronic joint pain in one or both knees, your doctor may ask questions such as these — in addition to a physical exam and diagnostic tests — to help diagnose your condition:
Treatments of Knee Problems
Depending on the diagnosis, treatments for knee problems can range from rest and anti-inflammatories to therapy and surgery. Surgical options include:
Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which a tiny camera is used to see inside your knee. Other medical instruments may be used to correct a problem on the spot. Arthroscopy may be recommended for these knee problems:
The anterior cruciate ligament keeps the shin bone (tibia) in place. When this ligament is torn, it can cause your knee to give way during physical activity. Left untreated, a torn ACL can lead to tissue damage and premature arthritis. ACL reconstruction involves the replacement of this important ligament, followed by an extensive rehabilitation program lasting four to six months. Before choosing ACL reconstruction, you should understand that the success of this surgery relies heavily on your persistent rehabilitation efforts.
In a total knee replacement the kneecap is moved out of the way, and the ends of the thigh bone and shinbone are cut to fit the prosthesis. The underside of the kneecap is also cut to allow room for the artificial joint.
The two parts of the artificial joint are affixed to the bones and kneecap using a special bone cement. Implants can me made of metal, plastic or ceramic. Your surgeon will decide which type of implant material will work best for you.
Partial Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement is a less invasive alternative to total knee replacement, and is sometimes an option for patients whose arthritis pain is confined to a limited area.
This procedure removes only the most damaged areas of cartilage in a specific area of the knee and replaces these surfaces. Because partial knee replacement requires a smaller incision than traditional total knee replacement, recovery time is generally a matter of weeks, versus the several months required for total knee replacement.
Surgery may be recommended for patients suffering from:
Knee surgery is usually not recommended for patients with: