The knee is the hinge joint that connects the thigh and lower leg. It is comprised of three bones surrounded by four major ligaments. The joint is covered by cartilage and shock-absorbing meniscus tissue. There are many types of surgeries used to treat knee problems when non-surgical methods are ineffective.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure surgeons use to evaluate, inspect and repair problems within the knee joint. During the procedure, a tiny incision is made and a small camera is inserted into the hip joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen that the surgeon can use to make repairs with extremely small instruments. Arthroscopy provides less pain and faster recovery time for patients than traditional surgery. It is generally recommended as the next step for conditions not responding to non-surgical treatments.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
Knee replacement surgery, also referred to as knee arthroplasty, is often recommended after a patient has tried all other non-surgical treatment options and still suffers from severe knee pain. This is a surgical procedure that will replace and resurface the damaged areas of the knee. State of the art artificial implants are used to cap both ends of the bones that form the knee and eliminate bone-on-bone friction that is often the root cause of the pain.
The most common reason for knee replacement is osteoarthritis, a process that occurs when cartilage in the knee breaks down causing the bones of the joint to rub together. The growth of bone spurs around the joint may also cause severe pain in the knee. These changes in your joints can lead to severe pain, stiffness and immobility.
Osteotomy of the Knee
An osteotomy of the knee is performed to treat the beginning of osteoarthritis that has damaged only one side of the knee joint. It involves the surgeon cutting and shaping the shinbone or thighbone to relieve pressure on the joint, therefore reducing pain and increasing function. People who have an osteotomy of the knee can generally return to normal activity almost immediately, and the procedure can postpone the need for a total knee replacement.
Partial Knee Replacement
While most knee replacement surgeries are total knee replacements, a small percentage of people can have knee function restored with only a partial replacement. During this procedure, only the damaged parts of the knee are replaced. Advantages of this type of surgery are faster recovery times, less pain after surgery and less blood loss, However, there can be the potential for more surgery if other parts of the knee become damaged from arthritis.