The knee takes an inordinate amount of pressure and stress every day as it bears the body’s weight with each step, so naturally it tends to develop injuries over time as we get older. It can also get injured in high-impact sports activities or simply when twisting the wrong way.
As our population gets older and people enjoy an “active-adult” lifestyle, knee injury has become more and more commonplace. The relatively new surgical technique of minimally invasive knee arthroscopy can fix many types of knee injury; however, if the damage is too great and too widespread, the better route would be a total knee replacement (arthroplasty).
Let’s talk about when knee arthroscopy is the optimal treatment and when total knee arthroplasty is the better option.
Conditions Treated with Knee Arthroscopy
If your knee pain or function has not responded well to nonsurgical measures such as physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and rest, then your physician may recommend having total knee arthroscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves tiny incisions and the use of very thin fiber-optic tubes, so the surgeon can both see the problem and treat it in the same procedure.
Arthroscopy is routinely used to treat knee injuries such as:
- Repairing a torn meniscus
- Removing loose pieces of bone or cartilage in the knee
- Trimming damaged articular cartilage
- Reconstructing a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament)
- Repairing an instable patella (kneecap)
- Removing inflamed synovial tissue
Arthroscopic surgery requires smaller incisions, and it therefore causes less tissue damage and less recovery time. If the knee is later re-injured or is further damaged, arthroplasty may be required to repair the damage accrued over the years.
Why Do I Need Knee Replacement Surgery?
In a total knee replacement, many orthopedic surgeons are now performing this surgery as minimally invasive arthroplasty (knee replacement) – often to treat severe arthritis pain. This is done by making small incisions around the knee, and it requires special tools to replace the joint via the smaller incisions.
The surgeon will remove small portions of the thighbone (femur, or upper leg bone) and shinbone (tibia, or lower leg bone), and the entire patella and damaged cartilage. The physician will then replace all of these components – the entire knee joint – with medical-grade metal and plastic prosthetic materials. You will then have a new knee joint.
Knee Surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale
Many conditions, including osteoarthritis (often called just “arthritis”), rheumatoid arthritis, knee injury, or a bone spur in the knee, can all cause inflammation, pain, and damage to the knee joint. Experienced orthopedic surgeons will first attempt the least-invasive treatments, such as corticosteroid injections, pain medicines, and physical therapy – but if you continue to experience chronic or severe knee pain, then a total knee replacement may be the best solution.
If your knee constantly hurts, contact our team of medical professionals at Total Orthopaedic Care for a consultation. Our orthopedic surgeons treat knee pain and perform partial or total knee replacements on a regular basis, so they are experts at helping their patients achieve relief from their knee pain.
Call us today at (Knee Arthroscopy954) 735-3535 or request an appointment online. We even offer same-day appointments for acute or new knee injuries. We look forward to seeing you here and helping you enjoy a pain-free lifestyle once again.