Tariq A. Nayfeh, MD, director of the Joint Replacement Center, diagnoses a knee condition at MedStar Harbor Hospital.
The specialists at MedStar Harbor Hospital offer comprehensive knee care, including surgical options, as well as the most advanced physical therapy treatment to build back your strength and range of motion. No matter how simple or complex your condition, the experienced orthopaedic knee surgeons at MedStar Health will offer you a successful solution. Learn more:
An injured ACL is associated with some or all of the following symptoms:
- An audible pop or snapping upon injury
- Immediate and sustained swelling in the knee
- Instability in the knee that can cause it to give out
- Inability to bear weight
- Significant pain that does not diminish in the hours following the injury
- A feeling of fullness in the knee
Not all patients may require surgery following an ACL injury—if the overall stability of the knee is healthy and the patient has a low activity level, the physician may recommend non-surgical options. For athletes, however, surgery is commonly recommended.
While there are many techniques used to perform ACL reconstruction, most are performed through a minimally invasive arthroscopic approach, which uses an arthroscope, or thin, flexible tube equipped with a small camera. Essentially, a graft is placed in the location of your torn ligament and held in place by a fixation device such as a screw. This allows for early motion while the graft matures to a new functioning ACL. This surgery can be performed in about an hour, and patients tend to go home the same day.
Regrowth of the ACL graft can take a long time; it may be over six months before an athlete can return to his or her sport. Physical therapy following the surgery will center on first returning motion to the joint and surrounding muscles before building strength to protect the new ligament.
Many meniscal tears can be treated without surgery. However, if the symptoms from the tear fail to resolve with conservative management, surgery is often recommended. A knee arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure that can be done in under an hour, the torn piece of meniscus is either repaired or removed through small puncture holes. Recovery takes place over several weeks.