If you have knee pain, it may go away after a few days without the need for intervention. The pain may also come and go, in which case you would probably take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
However, if your knee pain has become persistent and intolerable – to the point of interfering with everything you want to do during your day – then your orthopedic doctor may recommend a minimally invasive surgical treatment such as knee arthroscopy.
Let’s talk about how arthroscopy works, how it can provide long-term relief for your knee pain, and where you can go throughout North Dakota for outstanding knee pain treatment that works.
What Is Arthroscopy?
An arthroscopy is a two-in-one procedure that is performed on a joint, involving both the diagnosis and treatment of joint problems. Doctors often favor arthroscopy before more invasive surgery, because the joint pain may simply be caused by a bone spur, tiny loose bone shards, or slight tears in the cartilage in a joint – and these can be quickly repaired or removed via arthroscopy.
The orthopedic surgeon will make small incisions on the knee to insert the arthroscope, which is a small, thin tube with a camera function at the end. The camera allows the surgeon to visualize the joint via a video monitor there in the surgery room, and the orthopedist can then perform repairs on the joint in real time.
Who Can Benefit from Knee Arthroscopy?
Your orthopedic doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy if your knee pain does not get better with more conservative (nonsurgical) preemptive treatments. Knee arthroscopy is a helpful procedure that can be implemented to diagnose and treat a knee condition without the risks of major surgery.
If your orthopedic doctor determines an arthroscopy is all that is needed to relieve your knee pain, then it should work to provide long-term relief. However, an arthroscopy is not appropriate for treating arthritis, because the damaged cartilage is not reparable via this procedure. Arthritis warrants more invasive knee surgery, such as knee resurfacing or total knee replacement.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with a Knee Arthroscopy?
Conditions that are often treated through arthroscopy include the following:
- Knee Bursitis – This is the swelling of a bursa, which is a tiny fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning around (not in) a joint. Bursitis can cause chronic knee pain if left untreated. You can also get bursitis in other joints that are supported by the soft, cushiony bursae.
- Torn Meniscus – This involves damage to the meniscus, which is a C-shaped section of cartilage that provides cushioning between the femur (upper leg bone) and the tibia (large lower leg bone) in the knee. Each knee has two menisci, and a tear in one of these sections of cartilage can cause severe knee pain.
- Patellar Tendonitis – Also known as jumper’s knee, patellar tendonitis occurs when the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone becomes inflamed. This condition could be debilitating when left untreated.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear – The ACL is the ligament in front of the knee which connects the bottom of the thighbone (upper leg bone) to the top of the shinbone (large lower leg bone), and it is located directly behind the kneecap. Behind the ACL is the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), and these two ligaments together form an “X” to strongly support the knee as it moves.
Your orthopedic physician will discuss all of the potential benefits and risks of this procedure with you. It is all up to you as the patient whether or not to have arthroscopy, or whether you’d prefer another treatment or approach.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery in North Dakota
Knee pain can be debilitating and disrupt your daily activities. It can also be an indication of an underlying medical condition that needs to be checked.
If you’re looking for the best bone and joint specialists throughout North Dakota, then look no further than The Bone & Joint Center. We have reliable and experienced orthopedic surgeons who offer multidisciplinary care, and we will be here with you from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.
If you want to know more about our specialties and services, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get rid of that knee pain once and for all!