Brent Carlson, MD Orthopedic Surgeon
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Patient Education

Knee

Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common condition affecting individuals from different age groups. It not only affects movement but also impacts the quality of life of the individual. An injury or disease of the knee joint or any structure surrounding the knee can result in knee pain.  A precise diagnosis of the underlying cause is important to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Some of the common causes for knee pain include:

  • Arthritis: a condition associated with inflammation of the joint
  • Knee ligament injuries
  • Torn meniscus
  • Patellar tendonitis: inflammation of the patellar tendon which connects the kneecap to the shin bone
  • Chondromalacia patellae: softening of the articular cartilage on the under surface of the kneecap causing knee pain
  • Dislocated kneecap
  • Baker's cyst: a fluid-filled swelling in the back of the knee which usually results from another problem such as a meniscus tear
  • Knee bursitis:  inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs located around the joints, usually between a tendon and the bone.
  • Plica syndrome: results from inflammation of the synovial tissue of the knee causing knee pain and swelling.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease: caused by irritation of the growth plate at the front of the knee joint and is more common in adolescents
  • Osteochondritis dissecans: characterised by detachment of a cartilage fragment and a thin layer of the bone from the end of a bone due to inadequate blood supply;  these fragments may either stay in place or slide around the joint causing pain and joint instability
  • Gout: characterized by sudden, severe attacks of joint pain, with swelling and redness around the joint, caused by accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints

Treatment

Treatment options depend upon the underlying cause responsible for knee pain. Some of the common treatment options for knee pain include rest, ice and heat application, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, stretching, physical therapy and cortisone injections. Sometimes surgery may need to be performed to allow the best recovery.

Knee Anatomy :: Knee Arthroscopy :: Total Knee Replacement
Uniknee Replacement :: Revision Knee Replacement :: ACL Reconstruction

Normal Anatomy of the Knee Joint

How does the Knee joint work?
Find out more in this web based movie.

Normal Anatomy of the Knee Joint Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint

Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into a joint. Arthroscopy is a term that comes from two Greek words, arthro-, meaning joint, and -skopein, meaning to examine.

The benefits of arthroscopy involve smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and less scarring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home on the same day.

Find out more about Knee Arthroscopy from the following links.

` Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint

Total Knee Replacement (TKR)

A total knee replacement (TKR) or total knee arthroplasty is a surgery that resurfaces an arthritic knee joint with an artificial metal or plastic replacement parts called the ‘prostheses'.

Find out more about Total Knee Replacement with the following links.

Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Total Knee Replacement (TKR)

Uni Condylar Knee Replacement

This simply means that only a part of the knee joint is replaced through a smaller incision than would normally be used for a total knee replacement. The knee joint is made up of 3 compartments, the patellofemoral and medial and lateral compartments between the femur and tibia (i.e. the long bones of the leg). Often only one of these compartments wears out, usually the medial one. If you have symptoms and X-ray findings suggestive of this then you may be suitable for this procedure.

Find out more about Unicondylar Knee Replacement with the following links.

Uni Condylar Knee Replacement Uni Condylar Knee Replacement Uni Condylar Knee Replacement

Revision Knee Replacement

This means that part or all of your previous knee replacement needs to be revised. This operation varies from very minor adjustments to massive operations replacing significant amounts of bone and hence is difficult to describe in full.

Find out more about Revision Knee Replacement with the following links.

Revision Knee Replacement Revision Knee Replacement Revision Knee Replacement

Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL Reconstruction

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major stabilizing ligaments in the knee. It is a strong rope like structure located in the centre of the knee running from the femur to the tibia. When this ligament tears unfortunately it doesn't heal and often leads to the feeling of instability in the knee.

ACL reconstruction is a commonly performed surgical procedure and with recent advances in arthroscopic surgery can now be performed with minimal incisions and low complication rates.

ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Tendon

ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Tendon ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Tendon ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Tendon

ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon

ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon

Please use the links below to get more information from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:

Muscle Injury

Common Knee Injuries
Hamstring Muscle Strain
Muscle Strains in the Thigh

Fractures

Femur (Thighbone) Fractures in Children Growth Plate Fractures Proximal Tibia Fractures
Shinbone (Tibia) Fractures
Stress Fractures

Tears and Instability

Kneecap, Unstable
Meniscus, Tears of
Posterior Cruciate Ligament, Tears of
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury, Surgical Considerations in

Pain Syndromes

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)
Runner's Knee (Patellofemoral Pain)
Shin Splints
Burning Thigh Pain (Meralgia paresthetica)
Compartment Syndrome
Knee Pain, Adolescent Anterior
Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)
Runner's Knee (Patellofemoral Pain)

Diseases and Syndromes

Bowed Legs
Bursitis of the Knee: Goosefoot (Pes Anserine)
Bursitis of the Knee: Kneecap (Prepatellar)
Limb Length Discrepency
Osteonecrosis of the Knee

Arthritis

Arthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis of the Knee - Frequently Asked Questions

Treatment and Rehabilitation

Osteoarthritis: Surgical Treatment

Joint Replacement

Anesthesia for Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee Replacement and Implants
Knee Replacement, Osteotomy and Unicompartmental Replacement (Arthroplasty)
Total Knee Replacement
Rotating Platform/Mobile Bearing Knees

Nonsurgical Treatment

How to use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers
Viscosupplementation in Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Considerations

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Postoperative Care

Knee Arthroscopy, Exercise Guide
Knee Replacement - Exercise Guide
Knee Replacement, Activities After

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