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Minimally Invasive and Orthopedic Knee Surgery in Scottdale, AZ

For some patients, non-invasive and natural treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee or knee injuries just aren’t adequate to the task of treating knee pain and restoring mobility. If you have exhausted all your non-surgical knee treatment options, orthopedic surgeon Jonathan Fox, M.D. and his team at Desert Orthopedic Specialists can help.

Patients throughout the Phoenix metro area visit our office to consult on all types of treatments for knee pain and osteoarthritis, including knee arthroscopy, partial and total knee replacement surgeries and knee surgery revision.

Knee Arthroscopy

If you do have to undergo orthopedic knee surgery, it’s always preferable to have knee arthroscopy performed. Arthroscopy does not require the large incisions that are notorious for the damage they cause to healthy surrounding tissues.

An arthroscope is essentially a very small camera that’s fitted at the end of a tiny tube. This camera is inserted into a patient’s body through very small keyhole incisions. The arthroscope allows a surgeon to get a clear view of the surgery treatment area without needing to make large incisions and pull back a patient’s skin and muscles.

Additional small incisions can be made through which small instruments can be threaded. A skilled arthroscopic surgeon, such as Dr. Fox, can perform a number of minimally invasive knee surgeries with the use of an arthroscope, such as osteochondral defect repair (OCD) and retinacular release.

There are several significant benefits to undergoing an arthroscopic surgery rather than a traditional knee surgery.

  • The smaller incisions allow patients to heal and recover from surgery much faster than they would if they underwent traditional surgery
  • Arthroscopic surgeries are almost always outpatient procedures, meaning patients can go home the same day as their procedure
  • The smaller incision means far less blood loss and a significantly lower chance for infection or other complications
  • Small incisions result in less scarring

Osteochondral Defect Repair (OCD)

The thigh and shin bones that meet in the knee joint are capped with cartilage to allow for smooth, ideally frictionless operation. Without the cartilage, bone would grind on bone. Osteochondral bone is the portion of the bone directly underneath the cartilage that caps the bones that end in the joint.

This part of the bone is especially vulnerable to defects and injury when the cartilage in the joint is compromised. These injuries frequently occur to people with osteoarthritis or other conditions that affect the joints and cartilage.

The type of procedure performed to repair osteochondral defects and injures varies based on the injury, but most can be performed arthroscopically. For example, if cartilage has detached from the bone the cartilage fragment can be arthroscopically removed and the osteochondral bone can be treated.

In some cases, tiny holes may be drilled into the osteochondral bone. These small tunnels will allow the natural stem cells in the bone marrow to flow out and coat the osteochondral bone where the cartilage had been. These stem cells can grow into new cartilage.

This approach isn’t effective for all patients and is generally only attempted for younger and middle-aged patients. The exact treatment for your osteochondral defect or injury will be highly dependent on your condition, age and health. Dr. Fox would be happy to consult with you on options.

Lateral Retinacular Release of the Knee

The kneecap, or patella, is kept in place and balanced by the medial and lateral retinaculum. Some people can develop a condition where the thigh muscles cause excess pull to be exerted on the kneecap, straining the medial retinaculum.

Non-surgical treatments should be attempted to treat lateral retinacular pain before more invasive surgical solutions are used. Bracing, icing, lifestyle changes and physical therapy are all options that may help reduce or eliminate strain on the lateral retinaculum.

If these non-surgical treatments are ineffective, an orthopedic knee surgeon can perform an arthroscopic procedure to incise the lateral retinaculum. The goal is to un-tilt the kneecap and release the lateral tissues. This will remove the excess strain exerted on the medial tissues and reduce or eliminate the resulting pain and improve range of motion.

After lateral retinacular release, physical therapy will still be necessary to further strengthen the knee, restore stability, improve mobility and reduce pain.

Partial and Total Knee Replacement and Knee Revision Surgery

Although many knee surgeries can be performed arthroscopically, a partial or total knee replacement surgery or the revision of a past knee replacement surgery will require a more traditional surgical approach.

During a partial knee replacement surgery, just one of the compartments of the knee, usually the medial compartment, the inside compartment, is replaced and the posterior and anterior cruciate ligaments will be preserved. During a total knee replacement those ligaments will be removed and both compartments of the knee, the medial and the lateral compartments, are replaced.

There are pros and cons for both partial and total knee replacement surgeries. Patients who receive total knee replacements will have more bone and soft tissues removed and replaced and will have an elevated risk for complications as well as a longer recovery period compared with those who receive a partial knee replacement. However, total knee replacement patients will also likely have better knee function than they would with just a partial knee replacement and will have a reduced risk for needing a knee replacement revision surgery in the future.

To undergo either a partial or a total knee replacement procedure, patients will need to meet minimum health requirements to ensure the procedure is safe to undergo. Age, weight, strength, range of motion and activity level may play a role in your eligibility to undergo a total or a partial knee replacement surgery.

If you do not meet the necessary health requirements to qualify for knee surgery, the naturopathic team at Desert Orthopedic Specialists may be able to help you implement lifestyle and diet changes to improve your health and make yourself eligible for a partial or total knee replacement surgery.

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Learn More About Orthopedic and Arthroscopic Knee Surgery. Schedule a Consultation Today!