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.
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.
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.
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 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.
- Pain or tenderness
- Swelling or inflammation
- Difficulty walking
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 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 known as a prosthesis. This surgery may be considered after other treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from pain and/or disability. The two options for knee replacement surgery include both the uni-knee partial replacement and total knee replacement.
In addition to a surgery experience that is customized to your needs, we also provide some of the latest technological advances in orthopedic procedures, like our ground-breaking Mako robotic-assisted surgery for knee and hip joint replacement. With less pain, a quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay than other procedures, Mako has helped countless Arkansans find long-awaited relief from hip and knee pain. Learn more about the Mako procedure offered at Baptist Health-Little Rock and Baptist Health-North Little Rock.