While non-surgical methods are often the suggested initial treatment, in some cases, knee surgery is necessary to completely repair the affected joint. The different types of knee surgery include partial knee replacement, total knee replacement, and minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.
Understanding the Knee
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it constitutes the lower end of the thighbone (femur), which rotates on the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella), which slides in a groove on the end of the femur.
Large ligaments that attach to the femur and tibia stabilize the knee, and long thigh muscles strengthen it. The joint's surfaces are covered with cartilage, which cushions the bones and enables them to move easily. Likewise, tissue called the synovial membrane releases a lubricating fluid to reduce friction and covers the remaining surfaces.
Common Causes and Symptoms of Knee Pain
The most common symptoms of knee pain include:
- Swelling of the knee
- Locking of the knee
- Knee pain while resting
- Deformity around the joint
- Inability to walk comfortably
- Persistent knee pain
- Signs of infection
The most common causes of knee pain include the different types of arthritis, ligament injuries, such as an ACL tear, and meniscal tears. Accurate diagnosis is crucial to proper treatment of the knee problem.
Knee Surgery Information
If a patient's knee is severely damaged due to arthritis or traumatic injury, it may be difficult to perform daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. If non-surgical treatments, such as medication or physical therapy, fail to alleviate pain, a surgical procedure may be suggested for the patient.
In a knee replacement surgery, the patient is admitted to the hospital on the day of the procedure. The anesthesia team will evaluate the patient and determine the best anesthesia option. During the approximately two-hour surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and position the new metal and plastic joint surfaces to restore the alignment and function of the patient's knee.
The knee has three compartments: the medial compartment, the lateral compartment, and the patellofemoral compartment. In some cases, only one compartment of the knee is affected by arthritis. In a partial knee replacement, the orthopaedic surgeon replaces only the affected compartment. In a total knee replacement, the three components of the knee are replaced with a new implant to alleviate knee pain.
In a knee arthroscopy procedure, a camera is inserted through a small incision to provide a view of the knee joint. This technique gives the orthopaedic surgeon a clear view of the inside of the knee, helping diagnose and treat the knee problems for each patient. The surgeon will repair and remove damaged tissue in the knee using surgical instruments that are inserted through other incisions around the knee. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.
Knee Surgery in Minnesota
Dr. Kruse is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible. Through the use of innovative, cutting-edge technology, Dr. Kruse provides the most current treatments available for knee pain. To make an appointment with Dr. Kruse please call our Minnesota office at (763) 786-9543.