Our knees endure an amazing amount of repetitive stress each and every day. Walking, bending over, climbing stairs, running, lifting, and even sitting are activities that place stress on our knees. When something is not right with our knees, there are very few activities we can do without pain and discomfort. Though our knees are designed to handle incredible stresses, injury can occur from twisting, over-use, hyper-extension, and direct blows to the knee can result in common examples of issues that cause patients to visit and orthopedic or sports medicine doctor.
The good news is that many knee issues can be successfully treated without surgery. Our providers exhaust all non-operative treatment options before surgery is considered. The options include rest, activity modification, physical therapy, oral and topical medications, injectable medications, and braces to address knee complaints.
When surgery is needed, we utilize the least-invasive options available to treat painful and debilitating conditions. Typically, these minimally invasive options include knee arthroscopy, commonly referred to as a “knee scope”. Knee arthroscopy utilizes two to three small incisions on the front of the knee through which a miniaturized camera is inserted. This allows the physician to visualize and examine the inside of the knee. The doctor can see bone, cartilage, tendons, menisci and other tissues. Through the incisions, the doctor can insert very small instruments to repair the damage in the knee. Sometimes more complicated knee problems require additional incisions. This approach lessens post-surgical pain and can significantly shorten the overall recovery period. These surgical techniques also reduce the restrictions placed on patients during the recovery period.
Examples of successful surgical cases that are aided by the use of arthroscopy include reconstruction of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, treatment of a torn meniscus, treatment of cartilage damage, and precise repair of complicated fractures that extend to the knee joint.
The science behind the treatment of knee issues is constantly advancing. But with new techniques and treatment options, even very difficult knee problems are much more likely to be successfully treated through the use of arthroscopy.