Visit a knee specialist today to find relief from common knee injuries, conditions, or disorders. At our office, we understand the importance of maintaining healthy knees so that you can move freely without discomfort, stiffness, or pain. Contact our office to learn more about how we can help you with any existing knee issues with a specialized, orthopedic approach.
What is an Orthopedic Knee Surgeon?
When someone has a knee injury or is experiencing pain in their knees, then it is necessary to have an examination from an orthopedic surgeon. Because knee joints are complex, this area of the body is susceptible to several types of injury and disease. The knees are part of the body’s musculoskeletal system and are necessary for an individual’s movement on a daily basis. However, the knees take a beating because these joints bear a lot of weight, and if someone is overweight, then a stress injury is more likely to occur.
Visiting an orthopedic surgeon for a knee problem is essential because this medical expert understands the different parts of this joint and will notice tiny tears or inflammation on a patient’s medical images. An orthopedic surgeon who serves as a knee specialist is highly trained through medical school and a residency. Orthopedic surgeons focus on a patient’s musculoskeletal system.
What is the Knee?
The knee is a large joint located in each leg that contains:
All of these components work together and change with time as we grow and develop. A child will have softer cartilage and bones than an adult, and this is why a child can fall on their knees while playing but seldom experience a severe trauma. However, teenagers are more susceptible to having an injury because their knees are growing rapidly with the bone and cartilage becoming denser. In addition, many teens fail to protect their knees with pads while engaging in sports or riding a bicycle.
Senior citizens tend to develop more knee problems due to bone loss along with wear and tear, and many elderly individuals also suffer from arthritic conditions or neurological disorders that change their gait. Athletes and workers in certain jobs are likely to develop knee problems due to overuse and will need to see a knee specialist. For example, some of the workers who develop knee problems are housekeepers who bend on their knees to clean surfaces or floor tile installers who place their knees directly on hard surfaces.
The knee joint is located underneath the patella. This kneecap is designed to protect the underlying components of the knee joint, but it can become dislocated or damaged under the right conditions. The femur is above the knee inside the thigh, and the tibia is located below the knee in the shin. The patella and femur have a protective cover of cartilage at certain points to ensure an individual does not incur pain as the knee joint swivels and moves. However, this cartilage can break apart, leading to severe pain for patients.
The menisci are especially prone to damage as people age, because these pads of cartilage are located at the top of the tibias. There is also an assortment of muscles and tendons attached to the knees, including:
- Posterior cruciate ligament
- Anterior cruciate ligament
- Lateral collateral ligament
- Medial collateral ligament
Types of Knee Injuries and Disease
A high percentage of individuals will experience a knee injury in their lifetime after participating in a sports activity, falling down a flight of stairs, or becoming involved in a vehicular accident. A knee specialist is able to address all of these types of injuries. A wide variety of injuries can occur to the knee, including:
- Ligament strains
- Jumper’s knee
- Runner’s knee
- Meniscus tears
- Cartilage breakage
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Causes of Knee Pain
There are numerous causes of knee pain that can be treated by a knee specialist, including:
- Overuse – too much physical activity
- Wear and tear – occurs with age or in certain occupations
- Inflammation – arthritis or infection
- Cancer – cancerous tumors in the knee
- Benign tumors – can occur at any age
- Trauma – sport, vehicular, or falling injuries
Types of Knee Treatments
After collecting a patient’s medical history, completing a physical examination, and obtaining medical images, a knee specialist can make a diagnosis in order to create a treatment plan. If there is a problem deep inside a knee joint, then an arthroscopy is used to view the internal structures to avoid an invasive surgery.
Major injuries, such as a fracture, require immediate attention with surgery to repair the bones with rods or stabilization to facilitate natural healing. Stabilization can include using slings, wrapped bandages, casts, or braces and are created to treat each patient’s particular injury.
Mild problems such as inflammation or muscle sprains are treated by avoiding physical activity, elevating the leg and applying ice packs. A surgeon can prescribe pain relievers and Anti-inflammatory medications to help patients cope with discomfort. Occasionally, bacterial infections can occur in the knee, and a patient will need antibiotic medication to eliminate this type of infection.
After a severe knee injury or serious disease, a patient may need physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joint. As people age, they may require one or more Knee Joint Replacements, and this type of surgery is occasionally required for someone who is younger.
By scheduling an appointment today with a knee specialist at our center, you will be taking the first step that you need in order to find relief from any knee issues that you may be experiencing. Feel free to ask a member of our office staff about our diagnostic procedures or treatment options in order to prepare for your appointment and consultation.
At your first appointment, you can expect a lot of time getting to know your orthopedic surgeon and sharing about your symptoms and medical history. This, combined with diagnostic testing, helps us to create the best possible treatment plan for you and your unique situation.