The most common reasons for knee surgery are arthritis and injury. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that slowly wears away cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of the knee, causing damage to the cartilage. Arthritis can develop in people of all ages but is more commonly found in the older segment of the population. Injury can occur following a blow to the knee and is commonly a result of sports-related injuries. This type of injury is often found in younger people who are involved in activities with a lot of stress to the knee, the sudden shifting of positions, or potential for the knee to be hit. There are several types of surgery to repair the damage done to the knee.
Synovectomy is the process where the lining of the knee is replaced. This surgery often helps reduce the progression of knee problems and can delay the need for more invasive surgery. This type of surgery shows success only if the problems were diagnosed early and the damage is not severe. Prolonged diagnosis or advanced injury will not likely be conducive to this type of surgery.
An osteotomy is a procedure is where the bones are cut and realigned to redistribute weight. If this type of surgery is performed, it may reduce the necessity for a knee replacement. In order for it to be successful, though; early detection is crucial. Even in more advanced cases, this surgery can prolong the need for knee replacement by up to ten years.
Meniscectomy is where pieces of cartilage are removed to help promote a pain-free experience. This procedure is an arthroscopic process resulting in less recovery time and lowered post-operative pain. In approximately sixty percent of patients, this procedure can provide maximum relief for up to five years. It has a high success rate.
Total knee replacement surgery is the most radical type of surgery of the knee. It is usually a last resort and will occur only with progressive advancement of damage or in cases of severe distress. This procedure is still in its early stages of development, but advances are made continually. This type of surgery is proven to be highly effective and can provide permanent relief from pain and stiffness.
Damage to the knee can cause pain and stiffness. This may hamper a person’s ability to walk or perform routine exercises comfortably. Surgery is a viable option for reducing the effects of knee arthritis or injury. Most physicians recommend utilizing the least invasive form of surgery possible. This will provide relief and delay the necessity for more radical surgery.