Our knees are one of the easiest joints to damage, and knee pain can come without injury because our knees are burdened with the weight of our entire body. The repetitive impact of walking, climbing up hills and stairs, and running can all take a toll.
But when does that knee pain go beyond icing, rest, and pain medication? When is surgery required? And what type of surgery might you need? We’ll cover all that in this quick guide.
Types of Knee Surgery
If you’re experiencing pain in your knees and there is no other way to resolve it, your doctor may suggest surgery. Here are the most common types of knee surgery and what they involve.
Arthroscopy is the most common technique used for knee surgery. It works for many different knee issues, including full replacement of a knee.
With this method, a small incision will be cut and a thin instrument gets inserted along with a small camera. A second incision may be cut for tools and easier movement throughout the surgery.
Arthroscopic surgery is a treatment for:
- Meniscus removal or repair
- Reconstruction of ACL
- Removal of connective tissue that may be inflamed
- Damaged cartilage removal
- Extraction of loose cartilage or bone
- Kneecap (patella) treatment
- Treatment of infection
And far more, including some of the surgeries below.
This surgery is common among professional athletes since they tend to wear down knee cartilage at a higher rate than non-athletes.
With microfracture surgery, small holes are created in the bone to help stimulate the growth of new cartilage. This can lead to a quicker recovery.
If your hips are out of alignment — placing a strain on your knee and an awkward pull on your kneecap — or you’re consistently moving in ways that create excessive pull, release surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap.
Total Knee Replacement
If your knee pain is debilitating, keeping you from performing daily activities, and there is no other option, a total knee replacement may be suggested. This is a last resort for patients suffering from major injuries or arthritis.
Do I Need Knee Surgery?
While you won’t be able to determine yourself whether or not you’ll need knee surgery, there are indicators that should prompt a trip to your local physician.
The largest indicator is that no other treatment is working. If you’re in constant pain or you feel the pain regularly for several weeks with no relief, an evaluation should be conducted.
Need an orthopedic surgeon in Jacksonville, NC? The Carolinas Center for Surgery works with leaders in orthopedic medicine to provide trusted care and skill. Schedule a consultation today.