Orthopedics

Knee Pain

What causes knee pain?

Knee pain is typically the result of an injury, but can also be caused by the aging process and continual stress on the knee joint. Common knee problems that lead to pain include:

  • Sprained or strained knee ligaments and/or muscles. A sprained or strained knee ligament or muscle is usually caused by a blow or sudden twist of the knee.
  • Torn cartilage. Trauma to the knee can tear the menisci (pads of connective tissue that act as shock absorbers and also enhance stability). Cartilage tears can often occur with sprains.
  • Tendonitis. Inflammation of the tendons may result from overuse of a tendon during certain activities such as running, jumping or cycling. Tendonitis of the patellar tendon is called jumper's knee, often occurring with sports, such as basketball, where the force of hitting the ground after a jump strains the tendon.
  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away, and often affects middle-age and older people. Osteoarthritis may be caused by excess stress on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the knees by causing the joint to become inflamed and destroying the knee cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects people at an earlier age than osteoarthritis.

From diagnosis to recovery, Baptist Health is with you every step of the way with the most experienced orthopedic specialists and a Joint Replacement Team unrivaled by any other in the state.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty walking

What treatment options are available?

Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a common, outpatient procedure used to diagnose and treat knee problems. Using a device called an arthroscope, the surgeon is able to look directly into the joint. The arthroscope consists of a small tube inserted into the body that contains a system of lenses, a small video camera and a light for viewing. The camera is connected to a monitoring system that allows a surgeon to view the operation while it is being performed. One procedure that may be performed during arthroscopy is synovectomy -- removal of inflamed synovial tissue.

Osteotomy

Osteotomy is a surgical procedure to remove part of the bone that’s near damaged cartilage in order to shift weight to more healthy cartilage. This procedure may help delay a total joint replacement, while still allowing you to remain active.

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery removes and replaces an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis. This surgery may be considered after other treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from pain and/or disability. The goal of knee replacement surgery is to improve the function of the joint.  
The two options for knee replacement surgery include:
Uni-Knee Replacement
A new procedure has been developed to provide patients with a minimally-invasive solution for osteoarthritis of the knee. The Uni-compartmental knee (Uni-knee) is a partial knee replacement in which only the diseased portion of the knee is removed. This procedure is generally indicated for individuals whose arthritis affects only one side of the knee.
  • Two to three inch incision
  • Five weeks rehab
  • Generally for patients 55+
Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement (arthroplasty) is generally indicated for severe degenerative joint disorders where the articular, or moving surfaces of the knee, deteriorate, leading to severe pain, limitation or loss of function and/or deformity of the joint. Total knee replacement is also for fractures and failed previous prostheses.
  • Eight to 12 inch incision
  • 12 weeks rehab
  • Generally for patients 65+
The surgeons of OrthoArkansas Orthopedics and Sports Medicine have partnered with Baptist Health to develop the “Joint Replacement Team,” a comprehensive and planned course of treatment for patients requiring joint replacement surgery. We find that patients who take an active role in their recovery experience the most positive results. Our intention is to involve you in your treatment through each step of the program, beginning with a comprehensive “Playbook” outlining what you can expect and what you will need to do to prepare for a successful surgery and then how to care for your new joint after surgery. This Playbook also provides you and your caregivers a tool to record and monitor your progress throughout the entire surgical process.
The Joint Replacement Team is dedicated exclusively to the surgical care and rehabilitation of patients requiring joint replacement surgery. All surgery is performed in surgical suites exclusively designed for orthopedic care.

What are the patient outcomes?

The best advocates for the care you can expect from Baptist Health are the patients themselves. Hear success stories from a few of our patients.

Jim Moore, Knee Replacement Patient (5:26)

Jim’s knees started slowing him down in his 50’s and were getting in the way of enjoying his grandchildren. Double knee replacement has transformed Jim’s life and his results are typical of 90 percent of double knee replacement patients. Hear Jim's story.

Buddy Goodwin, Total Knee Replacement Patient (1:44)

After suffering knee pain for his whole life, Buddy got a total knee replacement at Baptist Health. What makes his replacement special, is that the replacement was made to be custom-fit to his anatomy using MRI scans and computers. Hear Buddy's story.

Pat Fisher, Partial Knee Replacement Patient (2:01)

Pat was only experiencing pain on one side of her knee, making her the ideal candidate for a partial knee replacement as opposed to a total knee replacement. Hear Pat's story.

Dorothy Henderson, Total Knee Replacement Patient (2:51)

Dorothy was able to walk the same day of her surgery with the use of the latest innovations in knee replacement techniques. Hear Dorothy's story.

Lena Hill-Moore, Knee Replacement Patient

As a missionary in her church, Lena is always happy to tell others of the power of faith. And it’s that same faith that gave her the power to overcome one of her biggest challenges.

From her early days of playing basketball to her current love of walking, this grandmother to eight has always thrived on being active. But when a knee condition that continued to get progressively worse threatened to keep her from the things she loved, Dr. Philip Johnson recommended that Lena have a knee replacement procedure to correct the problem.

Faced with a tough decision, Lena found the strength to go through with the procedure in her faith. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Now Lena’s pain-free, keeping up with her grandkids and finding joy in doing simple things like walking on the treadmill or climbing stairs without the pain she was used to experiencing.

“It truly is a miracle,” says Lena. “My knee just seems to get better and better with every passing day.”