Knee pain is a common complaint of both athletes and non-athletes, and surgery can be very effective in alleviating symptoms. In Berks County, Dr. Stephen R. Soffer is a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of knee problems and in repairing damage to ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone.
Dr. Soffer is board certified and fellowship trained in sports medicine and arthroscopy by the renowned sports surgeon, Dr. James Andrews. His vast expertise has earned him inclusion as one of Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors® in Orthopedic Surgery and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Top Doctors for the last five years. Doctors are nominated for these lists by their peers and then rigorously screened by doctor-directed research teams before being selected.
The knee joint is the largest and most extensive in the human body. Not only does it connect the thigh with the leg, but it supports almost all of our weight. This makes it susceptible to various types of injuries and conditions. Different knee surgeries are available for treatment and will depend on which part of the knee is affected and what type of repair needs to be done.
Arthroscopy can be used to examine and treat knee, shoulder, and other joint problems. The most common arthroscopic procedures are the repair of cartilage and meniscus problems in the knee, and the repair of rotator cuff tears in the shoulder.
After making a tiny incision, the doctor inserts a tiny camera to look inside the joint. The camera and its attached light show pictures of the joint on a television monitor. This enables the doctor to identify problems and make some surgical repairs.
Common Types of Knee Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons, like Dr. Soffer, will determine the best type of treatment for the knee based on the injury or condition. If prescribed treatments do not resolve the pain, he may recommend surgery. Here are several common types of knee surgery:
- Meniscectomy: The meniscus is a wedge of cartilage between the bones that absorbs shock and stabilizes the knee. A meniscus tear is one of the most common cartilage injuries and can occur from an awkward twist or sudden change of direction. The meniscectomy procedure involves trimming or removing all or part of the torn cartilage that is causing problems with pain, swelling or mobility. Surgeons most often perform this surgery with arthroscopy, but some tears may require open knee surgery.
- ACL Surgery: The knee has four major ligaments, but injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are some of the most common. ACL tears occur most often in athletes and can be stretched or torn during a rapid pivot to stop and change direction or from direct contact with another player or object. Surgery is not always required, and non-surgical management can be very effective. If the ACL is partially torn it can be repaired. If it is completely ruptured, an ACL Reconstruction may be required.
- Partial Knee Replacement: This procedure is most appropriate for patients who have osteoarthritis that is confined to just one area of the knee joint. The damaged part of the knee is replaced with artificial components, but it is less complex than a total knee replacement, requires a smaller incision, allows for faster recovery, and the knee may feel more natural because only part of it is artificial. If cartilage loss is more widespread, however, your doctor may recommend total knee replacement surgery.
- Total Knee Replacement: The knees, and other joints, are commonly affected by osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that wears down bones and cartilage as we grow older. In total knee replacement surgery, also called total knee arthroplasty, the surgeon removes the diseased knee joint and inserts an artificial replacement joint in its place. The replacement joint imitates the function and feel of the natural knee, and restores the alignment and function.
For the very best knee surgery results, it’s important to choose an orthopedic surgeon, such as Dr. Soffer, who specializes in sports medicine, and is constantly studying and training in the latest state-of-the-art techniques. If you live in Berks County, PA, call 610-375-4949 to discuss treatment options with Dr. Soffer.