Put your best foot forward
This information has been designed to give you a basic understanding of your knee, the surgeries performed and what to expect during your hospitalisation. Please keep in mind that this is a guideline only and that each individual has different needs so you may progress at a different rate to that which is outlined.
Your Orthopaedics SA specialist will be happy to address any questions which might arise after reading this information.
How does the Knee joint work?
Arthroscopic surgery of the knee is performed using a small telescope (arthroscope) and operating instruments which are inserted through, three punctures (usually) approximately 5 millimetres long.
Using this technique, it is possible to remove torn cartilage and other loose pieces as well as perform various other forms of surgery within the knee using special instruments without the necessity for opening the knee.
This procedure enables a more rapid recovery than with the older traditional methods, the pain is reduced and the hospital stay is much shorter.
Find out more about Knee Arthroscopy from the following links.
A total knee replacement is an operation performed on a knee joint damaged by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, accidents or sports injuries. It is carried only after other forms of treatment have no further benefit.
The knee is commonly referred to as a hinge joint. It is a major weight bearing joint that is supported by cartilage, ligaments and muscles that allow it to move smoothly as you bend and straighten your leg.
Find out more about Total Knee Replacement with the following links.
The anterior cruciate ligament is the most commonly disrupted ligament in the knee. Our understanding of the anterior cruciate ligament and its importance to knee stability has increased greatly over the past 20 years, as has our ability to diagnose and treat this injury.
The normal anatomy of the knee is shown below. The cruciate ligaments and the collateral ligaments provide stability to the joint. The “menisci” function not only as shock absorbers but also enhance joint lubrication and nutrition of the articular cartilage. The articular cartilage lines the inside of the knee joint and allows for its smooth movement. It is a shiny white material that acts as a bearing surface. This articular cartilage is very different from the meniscal cartilages (or menisci, mentioned above).
Find out more about Anterior Cruciate Ligament from the following links.
Unicompartmental or partial knee replacement replaces the worn part of the knee whilst retaining the healthy part of the knee. This is not a new concept but there has been resurgence in popularity recently. Better instruments allow for better tissue balancing and also allow for minimally invasive surgery.
Most commonly the medial compartment of the knee is replaced though occasionally in patients with disabling lateral compartment or patellofemoral (knee cap) arthritis this procedure would be suitable.
Find out more about Unicompartmental Knee Replacement with the following links.
This means that complete or a part of your previous knee replacement needs to be revised. This operation varies from a very minor adjustment to a massive operation replacing significant amount of bone and hence is difficult to describe in full.
Find out more about Revision Knee Replacement with the following links.
The patella is a relatively small, mobile bone which is subject to large forces in everyday activity such as arising from a chair and climbing or descending steps/ stairs.
Find out more about Patellofemoral Pain with the following link.