Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Tag » Injuries

What is Knee Arthroscopy Surgery?

The trend in surgery today is toward a minimally invasive approach that is less traumatic to the body. This is especially true for knee surgery, where it’s possible to repair damage to ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone without the need for large, open incisions, an overnight hospital stay and a very lengthy recovery period.

Minimally invasive procedures are possible thanks to improvements in technology, such as the development of tiny fiber-optic scopes that can be inserted into the body through incisions or “portals” only three to four millimeters in diameter.

While the incision is small, the surgeon’s ability to perform the procedure isn’t compromised by a tiny view. Instead, a small lens, light source and video camera on the end of the scope sends images of the knee joint to a large monitor in the operating room, which gives the surgeon a “big picture” and a clear view of the operating field.

Additional incisions are made to allow the surgeon to insert small surgical instruments into the knee joint. These tiny instruments are used to repair damage to the knee caused by an accident, sports or other situations or to reduce pain and disability caused by degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports five common reasons why patients undergoing knee arthroscopy:

1. Remove or repair a torn meniscus
2. Reconstruct a torn ACL, anterior cruciate ligament
3. Trim torn pieces of articular cartilage
4. Remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage
5. Remove inflamed synovial tissue

For more information about the kinds of conditions that benefit from arthroscopic knee surgery, go to

Meniscus Tears

Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries for athletes. For example, a meniscus tear ended the competition for basketball star Blake Griffin at recent the London Olympics. In March of this year, the New York Knick star point guard, Jeremy Lin, had surgery to repair a small chronic meniscus tear in his left knee. And last summer New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez tore the meniscus in his right knee.

What makes the meniscus so vulnerable to injury and what exactly is it? The knee has two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage called the meniscus. The cartilage, which is a thick, rubbery tissue, functions like a shock absorber. It prevents the upper and lower leg bones from grinding against each other. It also helps keep the knee stable.

A sudden twist of the knee, an abrupt change of direction, stopping quickly or a blow to the knee (like in a football tackle) can tear the meniscus. So can lifting a heavy object, falling, or even stepping incorrectly off a curb. Meniscus tears can also be the result of degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis that cause the cartilage to be less flexible.

You can reduce your risk a meniscus tear by wearing proper footwear for the sports, remembering to warm up and stretch before the game, bracing your knee if you’ve had previous injuries, and strength training with exercises designed to keep your leg and knee muscles strong.

Minor tears may heal on their own, but more serious meniscus injuries will require arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage.

Want to know more about treating knee injuries? Go to

Unicompartmental Knee Resurfacing

 If knee pain keeps you on the sidelines and prevents you from enjoying golf, running, tennis or even walking the dog, it may be time to consider surgery. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may have more than one option to treat the pain and disability. 

Unicompartmental Knee Resurfacing is a less invasive alternative to total knee replacement. Instead of replacing the entire knee joint, this procedure treats only the potion of the femur and the tibia that have been damaged by arthritis, conserving the rest of the knee. Other advantages include less blood loss and faster recovery.

The procedure is done arthroscopically using a small endoscopic tube with a video camera attached that transmits images in real-time to a monitor, allowing the physician to clearly see inside the knee joint.

The first step is to remove the arthritic portions of the end of the femur, along with damaged meniscus. The femur is the thighbone or upper bone in the leg. The meniscus is the smooth covering of cartilage that protects the end of both the femur and tibia.

Next, the surgeon resurfaces the end of the femur and applies a special type of bone cement, pressing the new femoral implant into place. The surgeon then applies cement to the end of the tibia (the thigh bone) and the new tibial implant is pressed into place. Finally, a third implant is inserted between the femoral and tibial implants and the knee is tested to make sure that the patient can extend and flex the knee with good range of motion.

 If you have knee pain that doesn’t respond to nonsurgical therapy, ask whether you may be a candidate for unicompartmental knee resurfacing. To view a patient education video and brochure about the procedure, go to

Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries & Tears

If you’ve ever overused your arm and shoulder when you’ve been gardening, painting the house, lifting something too heavy, or during sports, you know the achy feeling that can result. The shoulder may feel stiff, sore and inflamed. 

What’s going on? The rotator cuff has been strained beyond its normal capacity. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that cover the bone in the shoulder and hold it in place in the shoulder socket. An acute severe injury can tear the tendons, making it painful to raise the arm. Over time, constant misuse can cause the tissue to break down or even pull away from the bone. In extreme cases, the shoulder joint may become unstable.

Who’s at risk for rotator cuff injuries? People who work as carpenters and painters, as well as athletes who play sports such as tennis, baseball, archers and swimming. These activities require repetitive motion that can stress the shoulder joint. Age can also be a risk factor due to general wear and tear on the joint.

When should you consult a doctor? If the shoulder pain persists for more than a week or it hurts to raise your arm, despite a regimen of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication, schedule a consultation to determine the cause. Treatment may include physical therapy and a steroid injection to relieve inflammation and pain. Surgical repair with arthroscopy may be needed for a significant tear.

During arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon can stitch torn tissue and if necessary, reattach the tendons to the bone. Calcium deposits and bone spurs can be removed. After surgery, you will need additional physical therapy to help strengthen the shoulder muscles and speed up recovery.

For more information about orthopedic-related conditions, go to

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