An orthopedic knee surgeon deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The system is comprised of bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints. This surgery is performed to correct problems caused by injury, infection, tumors, or developmental abnormalities. It can be performed using open surgery or minimally invasive techniques such as arthroscopy.
Below are the two main categories of orthopedic surgery:
- Reconstructive surgery. This procedure is performed to correct deformities or functional impairments of the musculoskeletal system. It is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, bone tumors, cerebral palsy, clubfoot, scoliosis, and joint replacement.
- Orthopedic trauma surgery. It is performed to treat bones that have been fractured or dislocated in an accident. Procedures used to treat orthopedic trauma include internal and external fixation. This is the use of metal plates and screws to hold the bone in place while it heals. It stabilizes the patient’s condition and repairs damage caused by trauma or injury to the musculoskeletal system.
Types of Orthopedic Surgeries:
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves smaller incisions, less tissue damage, and a quicker recovery time. An orthopedic surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the patient’s joint through a small incision on the skin. They then view the inside of the joint to diagnose problems with the bones, ligaments, or tendons.
The images are transmitted to a video monitor in the operating room so that the structures inside the joint can be seen clearly. Once the problem has been diagnosed, the surgeon uses small surgical instruments to repair the damage.
Arthroscopic surgery is used to treat a wide variety of orthopedic conditions. These conditions include shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, and knee ligament tears. It can be used to remove foreign bodies, such as bone chips or loose fragments of cartilage from the joint.
2. Joint Replacement Surgery
Joint replacement surgery is a procedure that orthopedic surgeons use to treat patients with severe joint damage. The damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis.
Joint replacement surgery is most commonly performed on patients with arthritis. It can be used to treat joint damage caused by other conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or a joint injury. The most common joints replaced in these surgeries are the hip and knee joints. They are also performed on the shoulder, elbow, and ankle joints.
3. Spinal Surgery
Spinal surgery is a type of orthopedic surgery that is performed to treat conditions that affect the spine. These conditions include herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis.
The most common type of spinal surgery is laminectomy. It is a procedure that orthopedic surgeons use to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. A laminectomy is performed by removing a small section of the bone that may be pressing on the spinal cord or nerves.
Spinal fusion surgery is a different type of orthopedic surgery performed to fuse two or more vertebrae together for stability. The surgeon uses metal rods, screws, and plates to hold the vertebrae in place while they heal.
4. ACL Reconstruction Surgery
ACL reconstruction surgery is performed to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). ACL is a ligament that connects the thighbone to the shinbone and gives stability to the knee joint. The torn ligament is removed and replaced with a graft, which can either be artificial or taken from another part of the patient’s body. The graft is then secured in place with screws and metal plates.
ACL reconstruction surgery is mainly performed on athletes. It is done particularly to those who participate in high-impact sports, such as football, basketball, and skiing. An orthopedic knee surgeon is available during sporting events to provide quick treatment for ACL injuries.
5. Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is also known as knee arthroplasty. It is a procedure that orthopedic surgeons use to replace a severely damaged knee joint with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis. The artificial joint is made of metal and plastic and is designed to mimic the function of a healthy knee joint
Knee replacement surgery is recommended when other treatment options, such as physical therapy, medications, and orthopedic knee braces have failed to relieve the pain and disability caused by a damaged knee joint. The orthopedic knee surgeon makes an incision on the skin over the knee joint. They then remove the damaged joint surfaces. The prosthesis is then put into place and secured with screws and metal plates.
What Should You Look For in an Orthopedic Knee Surgeon?
You should find an orthopedic knee surgeon who is experienced and has a good track record to avoid complications.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing an orthopedic knee surgeon:
- Board certification by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
- Completed residency and fellowship training
- Performed hundreds of knee replacement surgeries
- High patient satisfaction rates
Tips to Maintain Healthy Knees Before and After Surgery
To maintain healthy knees, and any part of your body, you need to exercise properly regularly. Strengthen the muscles in both your upper and lower leg areas, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Never skip the stretching portion of your workout. You should stretch before and after your workout to reduce the likelihood of injury.
If you already have trouble with your knees, choose low impact exercises such as swimming and cycling. A physical therapist or an orthopedic surgeon can recommend other exercises that will work well for your specific goals.
After having knee surgery, you must continue to move your knee and leg muscles to ensure a smooth, and possibly faster, recovery. First, work on moving different parts of your leg while lying down. Try exercises such as straight leg raises or ankle pumps. Once you feel more comfortable with those movements, try similar exercises while sitting down. After that, move onto practicing walking and going up and down stairs. And finally, add resistance to your regiment. Discuss your capabilities and recovery timeline with your doctor before trying these tips.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering orthopedic surgery, the first step is to schedule a consultation with an orthopedic knee surgeon. You deserve the best orthopedic care possible. Take your time in choosing an orthopedic surgeon who meets your needs. Learn more about orthopedic surgery here.