The knee is the joint made of the distal femur, the upper tibia and the patella. Intra-articular surfaces are covered by cartilage and the menisci serve to increase the surface contact area between the fenmur and the tibia.
Ligaments and menisci are often damaged following contact or sudden twisting. Even though a physiotherapy program can reduce pain and improve function, surgery is often needed.
The most common procedure for a torn meniscus is a menisectomy. Removing the torn part of the meniscus is often necessary because the success rate of a repair is low. Menisectomy is performed with a small camera called arthroscope.
Be careful! If the meniscus tear is caused by osteoarthritis, performing a menisectomy is unnecessary and most of the time won’t provide pain relief.
The most commonly torn ligament in need of surgery is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is repaired or reconstructed with a tendon using an arthroscopic technique.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA)
Osteoarthritis is the destruction of cartilage surfaces. It is sometimes related to injury but most of the time is related to the aging process of the cartilage.
It is not possible to regenerate cartilage. When cartilage degeneration is severe and knee pain gets worse, the surgical procedure of choice is a total knee replacement (TKR) performed with implants made of metal and plastic.