Knee pain is a common symptom in people of all ages and fitness levels and is one of the most common reasons you might see an orthopedic specialist. It sometimes begins as mild discomfort and gets worse over time, or it may start suddenly after an acute injury. Knee injuries can cause pain, loss of function, and premature arthritis in patients. Common knee-related symptoms may include:
- A feeling that your knee "gives way"
- Pain with activity such as walking
- Inability to squat or kneel
- Trouble sitting for a long period of time due to pain
The meniscus is two cartilage areas known as your knee’s "shock absorbers," helping to cushion the knee joint and keep it stable. Sometimes, a torn meniscus happens during activity or direct contact sports. As we age, the risk for a degenerative meniscal tear increases, as the knee cartilage can weaken over time. People who have experienced a meniscus tear often describe feeling a "pop" during the injury. Other common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, a "catching" feeling in your knee and reduced range of motion. Like other knee injuries, if conservative treatments are unsuccessful in improving the pain and stability of your knee, surgery may be needed. Our orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled in performing repairs to the meniscus to help you restore your active lifestyle.
ACL reconstruction or repair
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is located toward the front of the knee and is the most commonly injured ligament. The ACL can be injured during a sudden twisting motion – when the feet stay planted one way, but the knees turn the other way. Skiing, basketball and football are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries. If physical therapy or other treatments haven’t improved your pain and the stability of your knee, surgery may be needed. The goal of ACL surgery is to restore the function and stability of your knee so that you can become active again, and it aims to prevent future knee injuries. Our orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled in performing this procedure. Early medical treatment for knee ligament injury may include rest, elevation, ice to reduce swelling, compression from an elastic bandage or brace, or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine.
Arthroscopy gives our orthopedics doctors a clear view of the inside of the knee to help them diagnose and treat your injury. During the procedure, your physician may repair or remove any damaged areas, helping to relieve your knee pain. Arthroscopy is a common outpatient surgical procedure and is very effective in treating knee problems. In fact, more than four million knee arthroscopies are performed each year.
If the knee joint is severely damaged, surgery could be an option. This common procedure helps restore mobility, while reducing pain. You could be a candidate for a MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing or a total joint replacement.
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