The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important major stabilising ligament within the knee. ACL sprains or tears are one of the most common knee injuries seen, particularly in those sports that involve twisting movements of the knee (such as football and netball). Unfortunately, ACL tears do not heal, often leading instead to instability of the knee. An ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure to stabilise the knee by replacing (reconstructing) the torn ACL with another ligament graft. The graft is taken from tissues around the knee, such as the hamstring tendons or patella (knee cap) tendon. An artificial tendon graft may also be used. ACL reconstructions are usually performed arthroscopically (i.e., keyhole surgery).
Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair
A meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A sudden bend or twist in your knees can cause a meniscal tear. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age. The two wedge-shape cartilage pieces present between the thighbone and the shinbone are called menisci. They stabilise the knee joint and act as “shock absorbers”.
Torn meniscus causes pain, swelling, stiffness, catching or locking sensation in your knee, making you unable to move your knee through its complete range of motion.
Patient-matched Knee Replacement
When planning a total knee replacement for a patient, surgeons conventionally use 2 dimensional X-ray images and a transparent template to decide the size and placement of the artificial knee components. Other surgeons plan the size and placement of the components during the actual surgery with the use of measuring instruments.
A new technique is now available called Patient-matched Knee Replacement. This new approach to preoperative planning utilises 3 dimensional MRI images (magnetic resonance imaging) to provide the surgeon with a customised, 3D template for every patient prior to surgery.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed through 2 small 5-10 mm incisions (i.e., keyhole surgery) using an advanced HD camera and special instruments to visualise and work inside the knee joint. Almost all aspects of knee conditions can be treated successfully with knee arthroscopy.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach resulting in less tissue damage, less pain, less blood loss, and faster recovery and return of function.
Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement
Patients with osteoarthritis that is limited to just one part of the knee may be candidates for a unicompartmental knee replacement (also called a “partial” knee replacement). Your knee is divided into three major compartments: the medial compartment (i.e., the inside part of the knee), the lateral compartment (i.e., the outside part), and the patellofemoral compartment (i.e., the front of the knee, between the kneecap and thighbone). In a unicompartmental knee replacement, only the damaged compartment is replaced with metal and plastic. The healthy cartilage and bone in the remainder of the knee is left alone. The knee joint becomes worn-out most commonly as a result of osteoarthritis, but may also result from other causes such as trauma or injuries, meniscal tears and overuse. The aim of a UKR is to relieve pain, restore function and movement, and improve quality of life. The potential benefits of a UKR over a total knee replacement (TKR) are: the smaller incisions, less bone removal, less blood loss, faster recovery, better range of movement and a more “natural” feeling knee. The disadvantages of a UKR compared with a TKR include slightly less predictable pain relief, and the potential need for more surgery.