Knee arthroscopy is a common orthopedic procedure that makes use of minimally invasive surgical techniques and greatly improves post-operative results. This surgical procedure utilizes fiber-optic technology, and requires a smaller incision in comparison to open knee arthrotomy (open surgery). Knee arthroscopy's minimally invasive approach provides a number of potential benefits, including reduced scarring, less blood loss during surgery, and a shortened post-operative recovery period. The minimally invasive surgery lends itself well to the field of sports medicine, as it allows athletes to return to the playing field quickly and safely.
If conservative treatments fail to remedy the knee condition, Dr. Kruse will suggest knee arthroscopy as the preferred surgical option. Knee arthroscopy allows the surgeon to view the inside of the joint without making a large incision. Instead, a fiber-optic camera, known as an arthroscope, is inserted through a small incision made on the knee. The arthroscope sends real-time imaging back to a monitor in the operating room, giving Dr. Kruse clear view of the joint. Through a second incision, tiny operating instruments are inserted, allowing the surgeon to clean the joint of loose tissue and perform the arthroscopic repair.
Minneapolis ACL Reconstruction
The knee is comprised of three main bones: the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap). The femur and tibia meet to form a hinge joint, covered by the patella in front, which provides protection. Connecting these bones are ligaments that help stabilize the knee and maintain proper range of motion. Two ligaments run on either side of the knee joint, known as the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), both functioning to limit sideways motion. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) limits backward motion of the tibia, while the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) limits forward motion of the tibia.
The ACL is the most frequently injured ligament, and is one of the most common injuries to sideline athletes. Patients that experience the musculoskeletal injury can usually identify the instance of the ACL tear. Patients often report hearing a 'pop' sound at the time of the ACL tear, with severe pain and immobility immediately resulting. The knee will swell with blood, making the knee joint tender and extremely painful.
While not every ACL tear will require surgery, knee arthroscopy is the recommended surgical solution. Because repairing the torn ACL does not always yield favorable results, the ACL is generally reconstructed using grafts from healthy tendons. The grafts commonly used to replace the ACL include: patellar tendon autograft, hamstring tendon autograft, quadriceps tendon autograft, or allograft.
Meniscal Tear Treatment in Minneapolis
To protect the knee joint from downward pressure and friction, cartilaginous tissue known as menisci rest between the tibia and the femur. The menisci act as shock absorbers, significantly reducing the amount of force affecting the bones through everyday use.
The nature of the meniscus' role makes it prone to injury. Meniscal tears often occur due to athletic activity, with direct contact often playing a part. Athletes may squat and twist the knee, causing a tear. Older patients often develop meniscal tears due to natural wear-and-tear. As patients age, the meniscus becomes weak and wears thin over time, making it significantly easier to tear.
Meniscal tears are often successfully treated through nonsurgical means, allowing the injury to heal on its own. Recommended treatments often include RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Knee Arthroscopy in Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN
Dr. Jay Kruse performs knee arthroscopy in the Minneapolis / St. Paul (Twin Cities) area, and specializes in sports injury treatment. Dr. Kruse advocates knee arthroscopy for a number of orthopedic conditions affecting the knee, including ACL reconstruction and meniscal tear treatment. Whenever possible, Dr. Kruse advocates conservative or minimally invasive approaches that make surgery less painful, and help ensure a speedier recovery.