When the knee joint is damaged, a replacement may be an option where physiotherapy or medication has not been effective.
Conditions that affect the function of the knee are arthritis, osteoarthritis, sport injury, cartilage loss, trauma, injury or degeneration. The knee is a hinge joint held together with ligaments. The bones that make up the knee joint are covered with a very highly specialised tissue called Articular Cartilage. The damage to or wearing away of this articular cartilage is called arthritis. Within the knee, there are two “rubber doughnut shock absorbers” called menisci or sports cartilage. From the age of twenty seven onward these menisci become more and more brittle, easier and easier to tear.
Lastly, one of the other common pathologies affecting the knee joint is an inflammation or irritation of the tendons around the knee such as patella (knee cap) tendonitis.
The knee surgery team at Somerset Surgical Services specialises in the following procedures:
- Total Knee Replacement – When the articular cartilage that lines the joints has become damaged and worn away this can be an extremely painful condition that severely limits function and quality of life. In these circumstances a joint replacement may be the most predictable method to alleviate these symptoms. In knee replacement surgery the whole knee may be replaced (Total Knee Replacement) or only the specific part of the knee that is worn out (Partial knee Replacement). Knee replacement surgery is a highly successful (but quite invasive) technique to relieve arthritic pain
- Knee Arthroscopy – A type of keyhole surgery that can be used for either diagnosis or treatment as well as taking a biopsy. Indications for arthroscopic surgery include pain, locking, giving way, articular cartilage damage and a wealth of others.The surgery is undertaken as a day case (in and out the same day)
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction – Patients that have sustained an anterior cruciate ligament tear and who wish to pursue twisting activities eg skiing, football, hockey, netball will probably require a reconstruction of their ruptured ligament. This surgery is undertaken under general anaesthetic as a day case. The surgery involves a lot of keyhole surgery to prepare the bone and drill the tunnels into which the new graft ACL is introduced and fixed with screws. The new Anterior Cruciate Ligament is made from the hamstring tendons which are removed for this purpose (though they will grow back).