Whether your injury is related to an accident or it has just developed over time from overuse, knee injuries can affect everyone differently. Skiing, soccer, and football are all sports that commonly have a higher chance for knee injury. But just because you’re not a pro baller or hitting the slopes, you still could be at risk for injuring your knees.
Not all knee injuries require immediate surgical repair, so it’s important to consult an orthopedic surgeon to try a non-invasive approach first. While some people are simply not good candidates, your doctor will determine whether there are steps and options to take that may be able to alleviate symptoms before surgery
Discuss options with your orthopedic doctor and after extensive imaging, they should be able to tell whether your quality of life is being affected or whether therapy could be an alternative to surgery. Doctors, however, do perform several knee procedures every day on people who significantly lack range of motion in their knees. Here are the most commonly performed knee procedures:
In this procedure, your doctor will be aiming to fix torn or damaged cartilage within your knee. The purpose of a repair is to remove all the damage parts, but ideally salvage the part of the cartilage that is healthy, in order to continue to act as a cushion for your knee joint. This usually is performed as an outpatient procedure and recovery time could be as little as a few days.
The ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, is the ligament partially responsible for the stability of your knee. Sometimes when an ACL tears, those injured report a popping sound followed by significant pain. While some ACL tears are only partial and can be helped with physical therapy, a full ACL reconstruction requires surgery. In this procedure, your doctor will either take tissue from elsewhere in your body, or even from a cadaver, to reconstruct the injured ACL.
Your tendons are responsible for connecting bone to muscle to support strength and movement. So when a knee tendon is torn, significant pain and reduced mobility is a big concern. Your patellar tendon, for example, connects your kneecap to your shin. When this tendon is torn, you become unable to properly extend your leg. This surgery is extensive and would require a hospital stay and most likely a great deal of physical therapy.
Full Knee Replacement
Most commonly caused by osteoarthritis, your doctor might recommend a full knee replacement after the degeneration of your knee joint has become so severe that it is affecting your range of motion and quality of life. In this procedure, all of the damaged material is removed and replaced by a prosthetic joint in its place. This procedure will require significant recovery time and you may need help getting around, utilizing crutches or bracing for a while.
Physical therapy is an integral part of just about every knee procedure, where the healing process is fulfilled once full strength and mobility have returned.
Consult with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Hefley about your orthopedic options today. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 336-2412 or use our Online Appointment Request Form.