Knee injuries limit your mobility and cause excruciating pain. Since the best treatment is prevention, do everything you can to protect your knees, including strengthening the muscles around them and maintaining their flexibility. But if you’ve injured your knee in an accident or while playing sports, get a proper diagnosis at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY. Delaying a visit only makes the problem worse, as knee damage doesn’t correct itself without treatment. Call today for an appointment.
Your knee joint connects your thighbone, kneecap and shinbone. The ligaments, tendons and muscles surrounding these bones give you the flexibility to move and bend. They also stop you from moving or bending the wrong way, at least when everything is functioning properly.
Most knee pain starts without warning. Most of the time, that’s because you sustained a direct blow to one of your knees in an accident or while playing a contact sport. Other common causes stem from suddenly twisting or bending your knee awkwardly.
When you don’t seek medical help for your injury, the injured tissue contributes to serious problems. You may end up with decreased mobility or even become disabled. Arthroscopic knee surgery becomes necessary when you’ve suffered a severe knee injury. This orthopedic procedure treats a wide range of knee problems. In fact, it serves two purposes: diagnostics and treatment, sometimes both at the same time.
Preventing Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Prevention is always the best treatment for knee injuries. The orthopedic specialists at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY offer tips for preventing knee damage, such as:
- Lose excess weight, as obesity adds extra pressure on your knees, especially when climbing stairs
- Don’t overdo your workout at the gym
- Strengthen the muscles around your knees
- Exercise to increase the range of motion of your knees
- Use knee pads to absorb the shock from direct blows in sports
- Stretch your leg muscles and warm up before starting any exercise regimen that uses your legs or feet
- Be mindful of your body and don’t overexert yourself
Knee pain often signals an injury. More serious damage to your knee joints, though, usually gives you specific signs. Visit Medex for a consultation when you have symptoms such as:
- Severe throbbing pain
- Stiffness of the knee joint
- Inflammation and redness
- Locking of the joint
- Weakness and instability
- A crunching or popping sound when you move
Why You May Need Surgery
Knee injuries are fairly common, especially for those who love playing sports or tend to overdo a workout at the gym. You can get knee pain if you’re overweight, both from the added stress and from obesity-related diseases such as diabetes.
You may need arthroscopic knee surgery to:
- Repair or remove a torn meniscus
- Reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament
- Remove an inflamed synovial tissue
- Cut out damaged pieces of articular cartilage
- Remove small pieces of bone fragments
- Shift the alignment of your kneecap or patella
- Treat an infection in your knee
- Smooth out rough edges of the joint
- Trim soft tissues like plica or bursa
- Remove a baker’s cyst
What to Expect During Arthroscopy Surgery
After you’ve been sedated, your orthopedic surgeon starts by making several small cuts. Then the arthroscope is inserted into an incision. The light and camera at the tip allow your surgeon to visually assess your knee joint, along with the surrounding tissues and muscles, via a computer monitor.
If the doctor spots a problem or recognizes the condition diagnosed, treatment is immediate. In this way, the procedure is both diagnostic and restorative. Your surgeon inserts tiny specialized instruments — like scissors, clamps, shavers or lasers — though the arthroscope, as needed. The whole procedure takes about one to one-and-a-half hours, depending on the severity of the damage.
After the Surgery
You get to go home after the surgery, as it’s an outpatient procedure. No hospital stay is necessary. Since you’re sedated for the surgery, though, make sure you arrange for someone to take you home afterward, as you won’t be allowed to drive yourself. At home, ice the area frequently for the first few days to keep the swelling down. Keep the leg elevated.
While some light exercises to strengthen the leg muscles are recommended, don’t put any weight on the leg until your orthopedist gives you the green light. You can go back to work within six to eight weeks if you follow your surgeon’s instructions. The doctors at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center believe in prevention, rather than repair. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the practice in Queens today.