Knee

Topics:

ACL Reconstruction

A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common knee injuries. An injury to this ligament causes the knee to become unstable and the joint to slide forward too much. ACL tears occur most often in athletes.

ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYACL reconstruction is usually not performed until several weeks after the injury, when swelling and inflammation have been reduced. The torn ligament is completely removed and replaced with a new ACL. Simply reconnecting the torn ends will not repair the ACL. Part of another ligament, usually from the knee or hamstring, is used to create a graft for the new ACL. Choosing the proper type of graft depends on each patient’s individual condition.

ACL surgery requires a few months for full recovery and physical rehabilitation will be needed as well. Surgery is not required for all ACL injuries.

Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to examine tissues inside the knee. It is often performed to confirm a diagnosis made after a physical examination and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT scan or X-rays.

During an arthroscopic procedure, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny television camera are inserted into the knee, allowing your doctor to examine the joint in great detail. This procedure can often eliminate or postpone the need for knee replacement surgery and allow patients to enjoy restored use and effective symptom relief within the knee joint.

While arthroscopy is advantageous in many ways over the traditional procedure, it is not for everybody. Certain conditions and cases will still be better suited for a traditional surgical approach. Your doctor will decide which type of procedure is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.

Cartilage Repair / Re-growth

Cartilage is the smooth coating on the end of the bones that provides cushioning and support for comfortable, fluid movement. Cartilage damage occurs as a result of injury or degeneration and can lead to severe pain and arthritis. The cartilage eventually wears away and leaves the bone unprotected. Fortunately, there are now several techniques used to repair damaged cartilage and restore normal movement.

Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation – This procedure takes a sample of healthy cartilage and multiplies it in large quantities outside the body before being implanted back onto the bone. This newly grown cartilage coats the bone and provides regained support.

Meniscus Repair / Meniscal Transplants

A torn meniscus is a common injury often caused by forcefully twisting or rotating the knee. It can also be a result of degenerative changes in older adults. A meniscus tear can be repaired through arthroscopic surgery.

The menisci are C-shaped pieces of tough cartilage that rest on either side of the knee. When a meniscus is torn due to injury or overuse, it can often be repaired with surgery that involves suturing the damaged ends together. However, in cases in which the meniscus is beyond repair, it may need to be removed completely and replaced with donor cartilage. This type of transplant can provide necessary cushioning to the joint and prevent the bones and other structures from rubbing together, causing considerable pain.

A meniscal transplant is typically much more successful in a younger, active patient who has damage due to an injury. Older patients, especially those with osteoarthritis, are often better candidates for a joint replacement surgery instead of a meniscal transplant.

The meniscal transplant procedure is performed arthroscopically, with tiny surgical instruments inserted through very small incisions. The donor meniscus is attached to the shinbone and sutured into the correct placement. Post-surgery, a knee brace and crutches will be required for approximately four to six weeks. Physical therapy will help patients regain flexibility and strength in the knee joint.

Patella Femoral (Knee Cap) Disorders

The patella, commonly known as the kneecap, helps increase leverage and support within the knee joint. Pain may develop in the patella as a result of overuse or injury, and often causes a fracture. Patella fractures can involve a single crack across the kneecap or a break into several pieces, and usually causes severe pain and swelling.

Surgery may be required for more intense patella fractures, and aims to repair the patella by realigning the fractured ends and holding them in place with pins, screws and wires. Part of the bone may just be removed in smaller fractures. During the healing process, the knee must be kept straight, and patients will often undergo physical therapy to help restore movement to the joint.

Patellar Instability

The kneecap (patella) connects the muscles in the thigh to the shinbone. In a healthy knee, the patella rests in a groove in the thighbone and slides up and down as you bend and straighten your leg. Patellar instability, or unstable kneecap, occurs when the patella slips wholly or partially out of the groove. This may occur after an injury or because the groove itself is too shallow or uneven. If your patella dislocates, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • Knee cannot support weight
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Kneecap slides to the side
  • Pain in the front of the knee
  • Pain worsens with activity
  • Creaking or cracking sounds when moving the knee

If left untreated, patellar dislocation can lead to arthritis, knee instability and chronic knee pain.

Patella Surgery

Pain in the patella can be a result of overuse or injury, and can often result in a fracture. Patella fractures can involve a single crack across the kneecap or a break into several pieces and usually cause intense pain and swelling. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition.

Surgery may be required for more severe patella fractures. This procedure repairs the patella by realigning the fractured ends and holding them in place with pins, screws and wires. Part of the bone may just be removed in smaller fractures. Rehabilitation is essential to successfully repair patella fractures. The knee must be kept straight to allow for initial healing and physical therapy programs are often used to help restore movement.

Patient Education – Animated Procedures & Conditions

Knee Procedures:

  • ACL Reconstruction
  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThis procedure replaces a damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL connects the front top of the tibia (the lower leg bone), to the rear bottom of the femur (the thigh bone). » Watch the animation

  • High Tibial Osteotomy
  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThis procedure removes a wedge of bone from the tibia, straightening the leg and correcting the deformity known as bow-leggedness. » Watch the animation

  • Joint Arthroscopy
  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYArthroscopic surgery is used to diagnose and treat many joint problems. This significant advance in joint care allows for a rapid return to improved activity. Most commonly used in knees, shoulders and ankles, the arthroscope can also be used for the spine, hips, wrists, and elbows. This animation shows the knee joint. » Watch the animation

  • Lateral Release and Medial Imbrication
  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThis procedure is designed to loosen or tighten ligaments on either side of the patella (kneecap) to improve the movement of the patella in patients suffering from patellar tracking disorder. This procedure is usually performed arthroscopically through one or two small incisions near the patella. » Watch the animation

  • Loose Body Removal (Knee)
  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThis minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, performed under local anesthetic, removes bits of bone, cartilage or other tissue that have broken free and are floating within the knee joint. » Watch the animation

  • Meniscus Repair
  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThe meniscus is a band of cartilage in the knee that acts as a shock absorber and provides stability to the knee joint. The meniscus helps protect the articular cartilage, the smooth covering on the ends of the femur and tibia. If a meniscus tears, it can often be repaired through arthroscopic surgery. » Watch the animation

  • Partial Meniscectomy
    • Patellar Tracking Disorder
    • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThe patella (kneecap) is held in place by the quadriceps and patellar tendons. Ligaments on either side also help stabilize the patella. Patellar tracking disorder is a painful condition caused by a problem with the bones, muscles or ligaments around the patella. » Watch the animation

    • Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
    • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThis condition occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the band of tissue that connects the femur to the tibia inside the knee joint, becomes torn or worn away, causing pain and instability of the knee. » Watch the animation

  • ACL Reconstruction | Knee Replacement | Herrin, IL | Carbondale, IL | Harrisburg, IL | Paducah, KYThis minimally-invasive outpatient procedure is designed to remove the damaged portion of the meniscus, a layer of cartilage on top of the tibia that cushions and stabilizes the knee joint. The procedure may be performed with local or regional anesthetic. » Watch the animation

    Knee Conditions:

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