Following are some of the knee conditions our physicians treat. Click to read more about the causes of these conditions and how they’re treated.
Cartilage tears (meniscus)
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
Exercising with knee pain
It seems contradictory to have a painful, arthritic knee, only to be told by your doctor that exercise will help to strengthen the joint and make it hurt less. However, there are many ways to exercise the muscles in the knee that will still get the desired result without inflicting unbearable agony. The first step is to start slowly on anything new. Stretching is also an important component of any exercise plan, no matter your background. If you experience acute, sudden pain while exercising, stop! Change the type of exercise you’re doing or back off on your intensity to prevent doing any further damage to your joint. It’s typically expected that you’ll have some soreness after a workout, but that should gradually diminish as you continue to exercise and strengthen those areas. Additionally, exercise doesn’t have to wear you out in order for it to be beneficial. The best types of exercise in this case will be low impact – water aerobics, stationary bikes and elliptical machines are good options that won’t put additional undue stress on an already painful joint. Walking is another choice that will be easy on your knees while still providing health benefits.
Are you facing knee surgery?
Many of our patients experience knee pain that limits the activities they love. And when the pain can no longer be ignored, we start the discussion of whether a knee replacement surgery is the right decision. Our physicians offer specialized surgical plans that are tailored to each patient’s needs and medical history. Whether you are affected by trauma to the knee, osteoarthritis, or another degenerative condition, our physicians have over 40 years of experience in joint replacement surgery. Our physicians collaborate with one another to determine the best care for all of our joint patients. Each year we successfully perform hundreds of knee replacements on patients whose lifestyles are significantly affected by joint pain.
There are a variety of joint problems that can ultimately lead to knee surgery. A key reason is arthritis which can present with pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints. For those over 60, osteoarthritis is typically the most common form. The progressive wear and tear on joints and cartilage leads to limited range of motion, significant pain deep within the joint, or occasionally the feeling of your bones catching or grating against each other. A knee replacement typically relieves the pain and discomfort associated with this degenerative condition. Knee replacements can also be used to treat knee pain related to a previous trauma or injury to the knee.
Knees and sports medicine
Dr. Jonathan Pettit specializes in knee injuries as they relate to sports medicine. The most common knee injuries for athletes involve the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), or a torn meniscus. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, treatment ranges from physical therapy to arthroscopy or possibly surgery.
Young athletes are at a greater disadvantage to suffering these injuries because the knees experience abrupt stops, pivots, and hard landings from jumping. Overall, female athletes are found to experience more ACL injuries than male athletes. There are many theories as to why this is the case, suggesting it may have to do with a difference in anatomy, hormones, and even evidence that males and females simply run and jump differently, leading to a prevalence of these injuries.
Orthopedic educational videos
This injury is a tearing of the ACL ligament in the knee joint. The ACL ligament is one of the bands of tissue that connects the femur to the tibia. An ACL tear can be painful. It can cause the knee to become unstable.
The meniscus is comprised of two c-shaped wedges of cartilage that cushion and stabilize the knee joint. A torn meniscus can cause pain and limited mobility in the knee.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, is a gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a tough, flexible connective tissue that protects the ends of bones in the joints. Osteoarthritis is common in the knees because the knees bear the weight of the body. Osteoarthritis of the knee can severely impact a person’s lifestyle.
Arthroscopic surgery is used to diagnose and treat many joint problems. This significant advance in joint care allows for a rapid return to improved activity. Most commonly used in knees, shoulders and ankles, the arthroscope can also be used for the spine, hips, wrists, and elbows. This animation shows the knee joint.