Knee pain can make your daily activities feel very uncomfortable. This often develops as the result of an injury or arthritis found within the knee joint. With a visit to Schumacher Orthopedics, we will perform an evaluation to check your knee’s mobility and determine which type of treatment would best fit your needs.
A Guide to the Knee
The knee is the most complex joint in the body and a common source of many injuries. It is formed by three different bones: the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap). These are held together and supported by ligaments, cartilage, tendons, bursas and muscles.
Common Knee Procedures We Perform at Schumacher Orthopedics
To relieve your knee pain and discomfort, our orthopedic surgeon can perform:
ACL Reconstruction Surgery
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for keeping your shin bone (tibia) from sliding in front of your thigh bone (femur), helping stabilize the knee. When this ligament gets torn, it can be very painful and cause further injuries to the knee. If this becomes the case, our orthopedic surgeon may recommend performing ACL reconstruction surgery.
During ACL reconstruction, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will make an incision in the front of the knee to remove the damaged ligament and replace it with a tissue graft. There are two types of ACL grafts we use for this surgery:
Autograft: A type of tissue gathered from a donor’s tendon, patella or quadriceps tendon.
Allograft: A type of tissue gathered from your own patellar tendon, hamstrings or quadriceps tendon.
Once the tissue has been inserted, our orthopedic surgeon will test out the knee’s motion and stitch everything back up and secure your knee with a brace.
ACL revision is a second surgery performed to repair your torn ACL. This is usually recommended if your first surgery was not as successful. You will know if you need a second surgery if you have a reinjury, instability or other problems associated with your knee.
For this procedure, our orthopedic surgeon will redo an old or failed tissue graft to repair your ACL. After this is done, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will stitch your knee back up and place a brace over it to help with the recovery process.
Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair
The menisci are C-shaped pieces of cartilage found in the knee joint and act as cushions between your upper leg bone and shin bone. When a meniscus becomes torn, it can increase your risk for serious knee injuries, such as a torn ACL. Each meniscus tear is different and is treated as such. For example, if you have a tear in the outer edge of your meniscus and still have enough blood flow, our orthopedic surgeon may recommend performing an arthroscopic meniscal repair.
During this surgical procedure, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will place sutures along the tear to allow the damaged tissue to come back together. These also work to tighten the meniscus to promote a healthy recovery.
Arthroscopic Meniscal Debridement
If you have a meniscus tear in an area where there is not adequate blood supply, we may recommend performing an arthroscopic meniscal debridement. This is done by making a small incision to take out the torn section of the meniscus.
Arthroscopic Meniscal Root Repair
Each meniscus is attached to the bone via two roots. These work to evenly distribute weight along the joint and stabilize your knee. If a root is torn, it can be very painful and make it difficult for you to walk. To repair meniscus roots, we recommend an arthroscopic meniscal root repair. This is a surgical procedure we perform to find the torn root and tack it to the bone with strong sutures to stabilize the attachment.
Knee Cartilage Repair
A knee cartilage repair is recommended when you have loose or tattered cartilage in your knee. This can be treated either surgically with an arthroscopy or nonsurgically by using PRP
or steroid injections
. If you choose to have a surgical cartilage repair procedure, we will administer a general anesthetic before we use a small camera to go into the knee with special tools to fix up the cartilage.
OATs Cartilage Transplant
An osteochondral allograft transplant (OAT) is a procedure where we take large plugs of healthy cartilage from one part of the knee joint to fix areas of damaged cartilage. This is typically recommended for those 50 and older who have minimal damage to their knee cartilage. Having this done allows the bone and cartilage to grow in the area where the damage was so you can be free of knee pain.
A microfracture is a type of surgical procedure we use to repair areas of damaged or weakened cartilage in the knee that have been the source of your pain. To perform this procedure, our orthopedic surgeon will create very small holes in the bone around the cartilage to create a better flow of blood and encourage the regrowth of tissues.
Our orthopedic surgeon may recommend performing a knee scope for us to properly diagnose and treat your knee pain. This is a minimally invasive procedure where we make a small incision to insert a tiny camera and look around at what is happening with the bones, tendons, cartilage and ligaments inside your knee. With a knee scope, we can determine if you have:
- A torn ACL or meniscus
- Damaged cartilage
- Knee bone fractures
MCL Tear Treatment
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) keeps your shin bone in place and allows the knee to move from side-to-side. You can tear this ligament when you strike your knee joint during an injury or an accident. Most MCL tears can be treated without surgery. However, if we find any ligament injuries or your knee feels pretty loose, you may need MCL reconstruction surgery.For MCL reconstruction, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will place either an autograft or allograft to repair any damaged ligaments so you can enjoy life without knee pain again.
When To Seek Care for Your Knee Condition?
You should meet with our orthopedic surgeon and team if:
- You feel pain longer than two days.
- Your pain is still persistent after taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and performing the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
- You notice the pain occurred soon after a sports or auto injury.
- You experience discomfort in your hip as well.
During your visit, Dr. Gregory Schumacher will determine the severity of your knee condition to give you all your options before moving forward with treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the above, we encourage you to contact our office at 907-206-5086 to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeon in Anchorage, Alaska.