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Knee Surgery

Holy Cross Hospital's Orthopedic Institute treats nearly 14,000 patients on an outpatient basis each year, and performs 9,000 operations. Holy Cross' reputation for excellence includes performing more knee replacement surgeriesthan any other provider in the southeastern United States.

Your knees work hard each day, so it's not surprising that problems can develop. Injury, overuse, weakness or aging can harm your knees. To help you move in comfort again, our physicians utilize the latest technologies to insure a comprehensive and distinguished suite of treatments. Whether your treatment involves medication, arthroscopy or total knee replacement , you're in very good hands.

The knee joint consists of the upper and lower leg bones (femur and tibia). A cushion of cartilage (meniscus) sits between these bones. The ends of the bones and the back of the kneecap (patella) are covered by smooth articular cartilage. This helps the joint move easily. Soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) make the knee stable and strong.

There are many common problems that may afflict the knee impair performance. A few of these are:

Knee Ligament Injuries

The knee has four main ligaments - the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments - that lie along the sides and back of the knee to keep the bones of the knee in place.

Injuries to the anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments most often occur when the ligament is suddenly twisted or is subject to a direct impact. Losing control of skis or falling off of a ladder, for instance, can result in an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The medial collateral ligament is prone to impact from the side. This is common in contact sports such as football. Injury to either ligament may weaken the knee joint. It may not cause pain, but the leg may buckle when the individual tries to stand up. An MRI can diagnose complete ligament tears and arthroscopy may be needed to diagnose partial tears.

Minor cruciate ligament injuries may respond to conservative treatment; however, most cruciate ligament injuries require surgeries. A number of surgical options exist. The ligament may be replaced with one of a patient's own tendons, such as the Achilles tendon, or a donor tendon. Sometimes a biological fixative device, such as absorbable screws, can be inserted to reattach the tendon to the bone, or sometimes synthetic materials can be used to "grout" the ligament.The physicians in the Orthopedic Institute are experts in these procedures and can discuss the best treatment options.

Meniscus Injuries

The meniscus is the cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee. Tears in the meniscus can be partial, in which it is still attached, or complete, in which it hangs from the bone. Pain or audible clicking or popping when the knee is bent often indicates a meniscus tear, but an MRI or an arthroscopy may be needed for a complete diagnosis.

Minor tears may be treated with therapy and strengthening exercises. More extensive tears often require surgery to reattach the meniscus, replace it with donor cartilage, or remove it. Most procedures can be performed using the minimally invasivearthroscopy techniques that allow shorter hospital stays and decreased recovery time.

Joint Replacement

The lower leg bone, called the tibia or shinbone, and the thigh bone, called the femur, form the knee joint. The bone ends of a joint are covered with a smooth layer called cartilage. Normal cartilage allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. However, when the cartilage is diseased by arthritis, joints become stiff and painful.

Total joint replacements are performed to relieve the pain the joint caused by the damage done to the cartilage. The pain may be so severe, a person will avoid using the joint, weakening the muscles around the joint and making it even more difficult to move the joint. A physical examination, possibly some laboratory tests and X-rays, will show the extent of damage to the joint. Total joint replacement will be considered if other treatment options will not relieve pain and disability.

Holy Cross Orthopedic Institute was the first in the United States to standardize the use of Orthosensor's VERASENSE, an advanced sensor technology used during total knee replacement to ensure proper implant alignment, rotation and balance, across multiple knee implant systems. Our surgeons are pioneers of the latest techniques and technology in joint replacement surgery to bring you the highest quality of orthopedic care and the best possible outcomes, to return you to your active lifestyle.

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The award-winning Holy Cross Orthopedic Institute is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care to you and your loved ones. The compassionate and cutting-edge care we offer has been consistently recognized on the national level. Click to watch videos of our patients and surgeons discuss their procedures and what to expect from the Holy Cross Orthopedic Team.

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