A healthy knee allows you to run, walk, or participate in sporting activities. Injury, overuse, aging, and degenerative disorders, such as arthritis, can affect your knees.
The knee is a hinge joint, formed where the thighbone and shinbone meet. A healthy knee bends easily. The joint absorbs stress and glides smoothly because the joint is covered with slippery tissue and powered by large muscles. But when the knee is damaged, the joint may lose its ability to cushion the impact from even small activity. Some of the more common symptoms patients may experience are:
- Sharp or continual pain in the knee joint, even in rest
- Catching, or locking, of the knee
- Limited range of motion
- Pain associated with motion of the knee
- Instability of the knee
The information below highlights some of the most common procedures our surgeons perform and is intended for informational purposes only.
The knee has four basic ligaments holding it in place, one at each side to stop the bones sliding sideways and two crossing over in the middle to stop the bones sliding forward and backward. The Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL) are the ones in the front. If damaged they may cause knee pain while walking, running or bending down.
Depending on your situation and diagnoses, ACL surgery could be performed arthroscopically. When possible arthroscopic surgery is preferred by surgeons for ACL reconstruction because traditional techniques tend to produce loss of motion after the recovery period. Arthroscopically aided ACL reconstruction is successful in the vast majority of patients and can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Achievement of stability of the knee can return it to a full range of motion and strength nearly equal to that of the other leg. Arthroscopy surgery also allows for less invasive and more predictable reconstruction. With arthroscopic techniques, patients tend to experience less pain, disability and stiffness.
Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which all of a diseased knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial device (prosthesis). A prosthetic knee is not the same as a healthy body joint, but it does work well. The knee prosthesis is shaped to fit over the ends of bones and is secured to the thighbone (femur), kneecap (patella), and shinbone (tibia).
A total knee prosthesis consists of three basic parts:
- The femoral component, which fits over the thighbone
- The patellar component, which fits over the kneecap
- And the tibial component, which is attached to your shinbone
The prosthesis could be made of ceramic, metal or plastic; or combination thereof. Your doctor will discuss the best choice for you, based on your particular diagnosis.
The type of surgery you have, and your doctor’s recommendations, will determine how soon you can begin moving and walking again after surgery. Arthroscopic surgical patients may go home in a few hours after surgery, but will need to arrange to have someone drive them home because the pain medications and anesthesia are likely to make them sleepy. After surgery, total knee replacement patients are taken to a recovery room, where vital organs are frequently monitored. When stabilized, they are returned to their hospital room.