OrthoSouth® offers a wide range of comprehensive knee care – from conservative treatment for knee pain to minimally invasive knee procedures, through total knee replacement. Our providers utilize a wide range of the latest techniques and technology to offer personalized care specific to your individual situation.
Some of these techniques include:
To view additional board-certified physicians who are qualified to handle a range of knee issues, visit our provider page.
The knee is comprised of several parts – tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. An injury to any one part will often affect another. Below are some common ailments that affect the knee and treatments options for them.
Arthritis is one of the most common knee ailments that can affect people of different ages. Generally, the main demographic is older, but arthritis can affect people of any age. Arthritis is inflammation in the joint that occurs as a result of cartilage loss. This inflammation can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling. The pain and swelling make daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs or getting up from a seated position very difficult. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. In osteoarthritis, wear and tear, joint injury, or infection, lead to the wearing down of cartilage between bones. Eventually, without the soft, slick padding of the cartilage, the bones at the joint end up grinding against each other. Osteoarthritis can also affect the entire joint, including the bones and connective tissues. It can lead to inflammation of the joint lining.
The most common symptoms of arthritis include:
• Restricted movement or range of motion in or around the joint.
Diagnosis of arthritis starts with a physical examination. Your doctor will look for swelling, redness, or warmth in or around the joint area and will observe your range of motion. Imaging studies such as x-rays and sometimes an MRI be used to identify and pinpoint joint problems causing your symptoms.
Treatment can vary depending on severity of the arthritis. Over the counter medications, lifestyle modifications, and walking aids can decrease pain from day to day. Prescription medications and physical therapy are often prescribed to manage the pain. Another non-surgical treatment option is cortisone or viscosupplementation injections. When the pain becomes too severe or doesn’t respond to conservative treatment then surgery is recommended. Those surgeries and include partial or total knee replacement. For more information about knee replacement, visit our Joint Replacement page.
There are two menisci in the knee that act as cushions between the femur and tibia and fibula. Meniscal tears are some of the most frequent cartilage injuries in the knee. They are common in athletes but can affect anyone. They can happen from a tackle or knee twisting injury, or from degeneration over time, as seen in older people.
Meniscus tears are caused when damage occurs to one of the menisci in the knee. A hard and fast twist or other movement commonly performed in contact sports like football, as well as non-contact sports that require jumping, can cause damage to this area. Older athletes are at increased risk for meniscus tears because the meniscus weaken with age.
Symptoms can include popping, pain, stiffness, swelling, or the knee “giving way.”
Diagnosis of a meniscus tear starts with, and sometimes ends with, a physical exam. Your doctor may move your knee around and observe you squatting or walking. Imaging tests like x-ray and MRI may be used to view the inside of the knee, and in some cases, arthroscopy (a tiny camera inserted into the knee), to examine the location of the injury.
Treatment will either be RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, physical therapy, knee injection, or surgery. Surgery options include meniscus repair or partial meniscectomy (removal).
The ACL is in the center of the knee. It connects the anterior (front) tibia to the posterior (back) femur and is responsible for stability of the knee.
Many ACL injuries occur during sports activities. Changing direction rapidly or landing incorrectly can cause the tear.
Often when someone injures the ACL, it is accompanied by a “popping” noise and the feeling of the knee giving way out from under the body. Other common signs and symptoms include:
• Pain with swelling
• Loss of full range of motion
• Tenderness along the joint line
• Discomfort while walking
During your visit, your provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history. During the physical examination, he or she will compare the appearance and feeling of your injured knee to your non-injured knee. Most ligament injuries can be diagnosed with a thorough physical exam, but your doctor may also take some x-rays or MRI to rule out other problems or get a more detailed look at the joint.
Depending on a variety of factors, treatment may be surgical or non-surgical. Nonsurgical treatment includes physical therapy and rehabilitation, restorative therapies intended to bring the knee back as close as possible to its pre-injury state. Surgical repair utilizes a substitute graft made of tendon to close the tear.
The knee is a complex joint, and knee pain could be caused by these or a number of other conditions and injuries. For more information regarding common knee injuries and related treatments, please visit the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgury’s page on Common Knee Injuries.
If you injured your knee forcefully, or experience any of the following along with knee pain, make an appointment to see your physician:
Go straight to urgent care or the emergency room if you experience any of the following:
Common Knee Injuries in Athletes: An Overview with Dr. Marcus Biggers Sports medicine surgeon Marcus Biggers, MD discusses common knee injuries and their treatments.