While we would all love to stay young and injury free, the reality is that accidents happen and knee injuries can be very serious. If you’ve been involved in an accident or have had a sports-related injury, you may need to consider surgery as part of your treatment plan. Here are some of the most common knee injuries that Dr. David Slattery orthopaedic surgeons in Melbourne deal with regularly:
- Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – The ACL is one of four major ligaments in the knee and an injury to this important structure can cause pain, swelling, instability, and difficulty with movement. Surgery is often required to repair a torn ACL to stabilize the knee joint and reduce the future risk of chronic instability.
- Torn Meniscus – The meniscus is a piece of cartilage between the thigh bone and shin bone that helps to absorb shock in the knee joint. If it becomes torn, pain, swelling, and difficulty with movement can occur. Surgery may be recommended if conservative treatments fail to bring relief.
- Osteochondral Defects – These are small fractures in the bone beneath the cartilage of the knee joint. They can cause pain and swelling and may require surgery to correct if conservative treatments fail to relieve the problem.
- Patellar Tendonitis – Next, we have an overuse injury that occurs when too much strain is put on the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. It can cause pain and swelling in the front of the knee, as well as a decrease in strength and flexibility. Once again, professionals will attempt other treatments, but some patients are left with no other choice but surgery.
What Does Knee Surgery Entail?
Knee surgery can be minimally invasive or open (which involves a larger incision). Your surgeon will use this to access the knee joint and repair any damaged tissue. Depending on the cause and severity of your knee injury, you may need one or more of the following: arthroscopic surgery to remove debris or repair tears, knee replacement to replace the joint entirely, or bone grafting to fill in any gaps. Recovery time can vary depending on the procedure, but usually involves rest and physical therapy to help you regain your strength.
Overall, knee surgery is a common solution to knee injuries that fail to heal with other treatments, and can help improve both pain and your range of motion. If you think you may need knee surgery, it is important to speak with your doctor or orthopedic specialist, who will be able to discuss the best option for you and your needs. With the right treatment, you can get back to living an active life as soon as possible.
As an example, let’s explore arthroscopic knee surgery. This type of surgical procedure is used to repair torn ligaments, cartilage damage, and other issues affecting the knee joint. During the surgery, a slim scope is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision to remove or repair damaged tissue. The procedure is minimally-invasive, meaning there is less risk of infection and shorter recovery times than more traditional open surgery.
Elsewhere, knee replacement surgery can also be used as a last-resort treatment. This procedure involves the removal of part or all of the damaged knee joint and replacing it with an artificial one. Knee replacement surgery is most often used to treat severe osteoarthritis and can significantly reduce pain and improve mobility in the knee joint.