When Surgery May Help
When pain and swelling and stiffness cannot be controlled by non-operative or conservative measures surgery may be indicated. The criteria may just be pain or swelling after sporting activities or the symptoms may be more disabling with a permanent swelling, limitation of movement and a restricting in the ability to walk or undertake the usual activities. There are several different types of surgical techniques that are available according to the exact nature of the artistic problem. Most of these techniques can be undertaken using the arthroscope as a day-case procedure. This often results in a rapid resolution of the symptoms and a rapid return to daily activities and sport.
When the joint surface or articular cartilage has completely worn away to bare bone and the knee is painful and arthritis is present, arthroscopic debridement of the knee may not prove to have a lasting benefit and a joint replacement may be indicated.
This may affect 1, 2 or 3 of the major areas or compartments of the knee. These areas are under the kneecap (patello famoral arthritis), between the major bone ends on the inside of the knee (medial arthritis) and the same bones on the outside (lateral arthritis)