At our office, we have a top knee surgeon in Silicon Valley who is able to diagnose and effectively treat a wide range of orthopedic knee issues. From injuries to more complicated degenerative conditions, you can be sure that your overall health and wellbeing is given careful consideration when your treatment plan is established.
Knee pain may be caused by a wide variety of ailments ranging from simple sprains and traumatic injuries to degenerative arthritis. Orthopedic surgery is a medical specialty that is focused on treating muscle and joint problems, including knee injuries and knee pain.
Knee injuries are among the most common injuries seen by orthopedic specialists. Simple sprains may be treated with conservative management by your knee surgeon in Silicon Valley, including relative rest and symptomatic treatment. Injuries that are more severe include meniscal injuries and ligamentous tears. An MRI may be needed to help diagnose a soft tissue injury such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
The meniscus is a piece of C-shaped fibrous cartilage between the femur and the tibia. There are two menisci (medial and lateral) in the knee, which function as shock absorbers. Meniscus tears are common injuries, particularly in athletes. Symptomatic tears may require surgery. Small meniscal tears near the center rim of the meniscus are generally debrided. Deep tears may sometimes be repaired, depending on patient age. Meniscal surgery is generally done arthroscopically, which utilizes a small fiber-optic camera placed into the knee. Two or three small incisions are often utilized to perform the surgery. After surgery, most patients can expect to be able to bear weight on the affected limb. However, patients with a meniscus repair can expect a period of non-weight bearing after surgery.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of two ligaments in the center of the knee, which guard against forward translation of the femur against the tibia. ACL tears are common sports injuries treated by orthopedic surgeons. Torn ACLs are unable to heal and require surgery to reconstruct. An ACL graft may be taken from the patient’s own hamstring tendon or patellar tendon. Alternatively, cadaveric grafts from a tissue bank may be used. The use of cadaveric tissue eliminates the need to harvest the graft from the patient, diminishing post-operative pain. ACL reconstructions are performed under arthroscopic guidance by your knee surgeon in Silicon Valley. Once the knee is prepared arthroscopically, the graft is placed through tunnels drilled through the tibia and the femur. Post-operative recovery protocols differ depending on surgeon preference, but patients can expect a period of knee immobilization after surgery.
The knee joint is composed of three different bones: the femur, patella, and tibia. Fractures can be caused by traumatic knee injuries. Significantly displaced fractures and intra-articular fractures generally require surgical fixation. Fracture lines that enter into the joint increase the risk of post-traumatic arthritis. Malunited fractures which alter the mechanical axis of the knee also increase the risk of post-traumatic arthritis. The method of fracture fixation varies depending on fracture location, the number of fragments, and the presence of an open fracture. Types of fixation include pins, plates, screws, and external fixators. An open fracture is a fracture that pierces through the skin, exposing the bone to the environment. Open fractures are surgical emergencies and should be taken to the operating room as quickly as possible for treatment by a knee surgeon in Silicon Valley.
Knee arthritis is an extremely common condition, and its incidence increases with age. Arthritis occurs when the articular cartilage becomes worn with bone spurs often forming around the affected joint. Primary osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting the knee. Other causes of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and arthritis secondary to metabolic or hematologic diseases. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a progressive deformity.
Initial treatment for arthritis is conservative with gentle physical therapy, activity modification, and over the counter pain medications such anti-inflammatory non-steroidal medications. A knee brace is often helpful to improve symptoms. The knee joint is comprised of three different compartments: medial, lateral, and patellofemoral. Each compartment may be affected by arthritis to different degrees. Patients with arthritis that is predominant in either the medial or lateral compartment may benefit from an unloader brace, which selectively unloads pressure off of the affected compartment.
Cortisone injections to the knee may temporarily improve symptoms. The cortisone acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory that is localized to the knee. However, subsequent injections are likely to be less effective. Hyaluronic acid is a key component of joint fluid, which can be injected into the knee to reduce symptoms. Patients who fail conservative treatment may be candidates for a knee replacement by a knee surgeon in Silicon Valley.
A knee replacement is indicated in patients who have end stage arthritis who have failed conservative treatment. The purpose of a knee replacement is to replace the joint surfaces with metal and plastic.
Patients with arthritis in a single knee compartment may be candidates for a unicompartmental knee replacement. A unicompartmental knee replacement resurfaces a single compartment of the knee. Patients with significant arthritis in the remaining compartments are poor candidates for a unicompartmental knee replacement, and may benefit from a total knee replacement performed by a top knee surgeon in Silicon Valley.
A total knee replacement places a metal surface at the distal end of the femur and at the proximal surface of the tibia. A plastic bearing is inserted between the two metal surfaces. Patients with a total knee replacement can expect to be allowed to bear weight immediately after surgery. A continuous passive motion (CPM) device is often used after surgery to maintain knee range of motion.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with a top knee surgeon in Silicon Valley. Don’t let knee pain, stiffness, or discomfort affect your ability to go about your daily activities. You can feel free to ask our medical staff any questions that you might have about our diagnostic or treatment options.