The knees provide stable support for your body whilst also allowing your legs to bend and straighten when you stand, walk, run, jump, crouch down and turn. Bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves make up your knee joint.
Knee problems are common. They can be mechanical and caused by a direct blow or sudden movements that strain the knee (a fall or sports injury) or osteoarthritis in the knee, resulting from wear and tear on its parts. They may also be inflammatory caused by certain rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Knee surgeries we often perform at Duchy Hospital include: knee arthroscopy, ACL reconstruction, meniscal tear surgery and knee replacement surgery.
At Duchy Hospital we’re focussed on offering all of our patients with knee problems a prompt and professional diagnosis and the most effective treatment to relieve knee pain. Comprehensive diagnostic facilities, a team of knee specialists, first class physiotherapy and rehabilitation services ensure our patients receive the best care for their knee condition.
The range of knee surgeries we offer
In order to find out more about your knee pain, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend a knee arthroscopy. This is keyhole surgery, and allows your knee surgeon to see inside your knee. Small incisions are made near your knee joint and arthroscope (metal tube with a camera and light source) is inserted into your knee.
Once your knee problem is diagnosed they may also treat it at the same time. This may involve removing loose bodies caused by wear and tear of the joint surfaces or the repair or trimming of torn ligaments or cartilage.
The meniscus is a semi-circular cartilage in your knee joint that absorbs the shock between your thighbone and shinbone. A meniscal tear is common and happens when you suddenly twist your knee, often when playing contact sports or if you’ve osteoarthritis.
Meniscal tears can be painful. They often heal using non-surgical treatments including: rest, ice and medication. Surgery might be required to repair the tear. Your knee surgeon will assess this based on its size, type and location. They will discuss the most appropriate treatment for you.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction
The ACL is a major knee ligament that joins the thigh and shin bones together at your knee joint. Its main function is to stabilise the knee particularly when doing twisting or pivoting activities.
A torn ACL is often associated with sporting activities such as rugby, football, skiing and netball. It regularly occurs when you slow down rapidly whilst turning or sidestepping or if you collide into something or someone. Injury usually results in acute pain often accompanied by a pop or tear. You may also feel like your knee is giving way.
ACL reconstruction or knee ligament reconstruction will be performed to stop your knee giving way, to make your knee feel more secure for day to day activities and hopefully allow you to return to sport if you play. Your torn ligament will be replaced with a graft, often from your hamstring tendons but may be from the patellar tendon or a donor.
Knee replacement surgery
Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty is performed if your knee joint is very painful (even when resting) and it has been damaged, worn away or diseased often due to sports injuries and osteoporosis.
Knee replacement involves removing parts of your knee joint and replacing them with artificial ones. It can be total or partial. If you have a total knee replacement (TKR) your orthopaedic surgeon will replace all the parts of your knee joint. With a partial knee replacement (PKR), also known as uni-compartmental knee replacement, only the ends of the bones on one side of the joint will be replaced.
After your knee surgeon has fitted your new joint, the pain should be eased and your mobility should return.
The following Consultants specialise in knee surgery at Duchy Hospital