Will my knee surgery be minimally invasive?
The North Valley Orthopedic Institute team performs most knee surgeries using minimally invasive arthroscopy. By definition, minimally invasive procedures use a tiny incision and narrow instruments that easily fit through a dime-sized opening.
What conditions are treated during knee surgery?
Nonsurgical therapies are usually the first line of treatment for most knee problems. However, severe injuries like a fracture may need immediate surgery. You may also need surgical intervention if your knee condition doesn’t improve or worsens.
Two injuries that often need surgery are meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears:
The ACL connects the thigh (femur) to the shinbone (tibia), preventing the femur from slipping out of place and providing joint stability. The ligament most often tears when you quickly change direction or stop while running.
When a partially torn ligament heals naturally, it seldom regains its pre-injury strength. And a complete rupture won’t heal on its own. That means you need surgery to reconstruct the ligament and restore optimal strength.
The meniscus is a cushion of cartilage located between the two leg bones inside your knee joint. The cartilage absorbs shock, distributes stress, and provides stability during movement.
Twisting your knee or making sudden movements can tear the meniscus. The cartilage can also wear down as you age, making it vulnerable to injuries.
You may need surgery to repair or remove a damaged meniscus when the tear is severe or if it occurs in the area (the inner two-thirds) that doesn’t have a blood supply.
Will I need partial or total knee replacement surgery?
Replacing the knee joint is the best (and only) choice when arthritis or a severe injury causes extensive joint damage. Whether you need a partial or total knee replacement depends on how much of the joint has degenerated.
The knee’s structure has three natural compartments. Your surgeon can replace just one compartment if it’s the only area damaged by arthritis. That’s a partial knee replacement. Partial replacement surgery eases your pain and restores movement while preserving the ligaments.
When two or three compartments are damaged, your surgeon replaces the entire joint (a total knee replacement). Some patients may qualify for a minimally invasive total knee replacement.
Call the nearest office or request an appointment online today to meet with the skilled orthopedic surgeons at North Valley Orthopedic Institute.