Learn About Our Knee Procedures

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Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement is a highly effective surgical treatment for those experiencing chronic knee pain as a result of arthritis. Total Knee Replacement is offered when damage to the knee has affected more than one compartment of the knee. If the damage and symptoms are confined to only one side of the knee, your surgeon may offer a partial (Unicompartmental) knee replacement.

To begin a total knee replacement, an incision is made down the front of the knee. The knee joint is then also opened along the edge of the knee cap. Once the ligaments and tendons are protected, the damaged cartilage and a small amount of the underlying bone is removed from the end of the femur and tibia bones to leave smooth, flat bone surfaces. The space created by the removal of the cartilage and bone is then replaced by a metal implant that fits over the end of the femur bone and a metal tray that fits into the top of the tibia bone. A specialized plastic spacer is then joined to the tibial tray. Frequently, the underside of the knee cap is also resurfaced with a rounded plastic button. Each of these components is sized and positioned based on the specific abnormalities of the knee and to fit each patient’s anatomy. These components create a smooth surface for the knee joints to glide on and resemble the natural movement of the knee. Each layer of the knee is then repaired with stitches and the skin is closed with either stitches or staples.

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial Knee Replacement (Unicompartmental Knee Replacement) is an effective surgical treatment for those experiencing chronic knee pain as a result of arthritis involving only one side, or compartment, of the knee. To begin a partial knee replacement, an incision is made down the front of the knee. The knee joint is entered alongside the knee cap and the ligaments and tendons are protected. The damaged cartilage is removed along with a small amount of the underlying bone from the end of the femur and tibia bones to leave smooth, flat bone surfaces. A metal implant is then fit over the end of the femur, and a plastic or metal tray is attached to the top of the tibia. If a metal tray is used an additional plastic spacer is placed to allow smooth, natural movement of the knee.

ACL Reconstruction

ACL Reconstruction is a highly effective surgical treatment for a torn anterior cruciate ligament. As the ACL is not able to be sewn back together, it is reconstructed using a tissue graft. Your surgeon will discuss with you the various graft choices and help choose the best option for your individual circumstances.

To begin ACL Reconstruction, the surgeon will make two or more small incisions in the front of the knee where a small camera and surgical instruments will be inserted. Next, a clear, sterile fluid is injected that allows the surgeon to visualize the inside of the knee joint.

Once the torn ACL has been verified and any other injuries addressed, small surgical instruments are used to remove the torn ligament and prepare the bone for the graft. Depending on the type of graft chosen, additional incisions may be needed to harvest a narrow strip of tendon from another location around the knee. Next, small tunnels are made in the ends of the femur and tibia bones, which often requires an additional small incision to be made below the knee. The new graft ligament is then threaded through these tunnels using the small camera and instruments to assist. It is passed across the knee joint and anchored to the bone on each end. The incisions are then closed with stitches.

Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery

Meniscus tears in the knee are a very common cause of knee pain and dysfunction. They are often treated with arthroscopic repair or removal (meniscectomy). Surgical treatment begins with knee arthroscopy where two small incisions are made on the front of the knee and a small camera is inserted to view inside the knee joint in high definition. Once the camera has been inserted, the surgeon uses small instruments to remove the damaged cartilage and debris that is causing the problem. Certain tears may be able to be repaired with small stitches placed inside the knee using specialized instruments. The incisions are then closed with small stitches.

Tibial Tubercle Transfer

Tibial Tubercle Transfer is a procedure used to treat patellar instability, patellofemoral pain or osteoarthritis of the knee. The goal of this procedure is to stabilize the patella (kneecap) by realigning it with the femoral groove so that the patella sits in an normal anatomical position.

Knee MicroFracture

Microfracture is an arthroscopic surgical treatment for those experiencing pain or dysfunction as a result of damaged or injured cartilage. To begin the procedure, the surgeon will perform arthroscopy of the knee by making two or more small incisions in the front of the knee. A small camera and instruments are inserted and the knee joint is inspected. Other injuries or problems can be addressed at this time. Next, the area of cartilage loss is prepared by using specialized instruments to clean out any debris and create a clean edge to the defect. Then, a narrow awl or drill is inserted into the joint and several small holes are created in the bone at the bottom of the cartilage defect. These “microfractures” release healing cells from the bone marrow and trigger a repair response from the bone. The incisions are then closed with stitches.

OATS Procedure

The goal of an OATS procedure (Osteochondral Autograft Transfer System) is to transfer healthy knee cartilage into a damaged area of the knee. The intention is to use this healthy sample of cartilage to fill the gap in the cartilage and promote healing from the underlying bone.

To begin this procedure, the surgeon will perform arthroscopy by making two or more small incisions in the font of the knee. A small camera and surgical instruments will be inserted and the joint is filled with clear fluid. Next, the damaged area is measured and prepared with small instruments. An additional incision may be needed to obtain the “donor” cartilage from a separate part of the knee. Specialized instruments are then used to create a precise hole through the damaged cartilage. An exactly matching “plug” of healthy cartilage and bone is then harvested from another location in the knee and transferred (transplanted) to the damaged area. Occasionally, more than one “plug” is needed to fill a larger or odd-shaped defect. The incisions are closed with small sutures.