Healthy knees are central to facilitating the ability to stand up, sit down, walk and run. Injuries to the knee can limit or decrease mobility. Puget Sound Orthopaedics (PSO) knee surgeons have performed many procedures treating conditions typically caused by arthritis, sprains, strains and fractures. Whether treatment consists of surgical or nonsurgical options, PSO surgeons are committed to helping patients get moving again.
The knee is a complex joint that bends and straightens like a hinge. There are three (3) bones that make up the knee: the femur (thighbone), which is the strongest and longest bone in the body, tibia (shinbone) and patella (kneecap). While it does not directly affect the knee’s movement, the smaller fibula (calf bone) is connected by ligaments to the tibia and supports the tibia’s function.
For the knee to function properly, all of the bones must work in tandem with four (4) primary ligaments that hold the three bones together. The medial (MCL) and lateral collateral (LCL) ligaments control the sideways movement. The anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments control the back and forth motion. In addition two (2) menisci act as “shock absorbers.” The menisci are made up of cartilage and help cushion and stabilize the joint.
INJURIES TO THE KNEE
Injuries to the knee often cause a sensation that feels like the knee is giving way, also known as instability. All three bones are prone to fracture but the kneecap breaks more often because it acts as a shield for the joint. The kneecap can become unstable or dislocate if it slips out of its v-shaped groove in the femur.
Another type of fracture is proximal tibia (shinbone) fractures, where the wider upper part of the bone that is a part of the knee joint breaks. If the break extends into the knee joint then the fracture is called tibial plateau fracture.
While arthritis can take many forms, the condition generally is inflammation of the joints. One of the prevalent types of arthritis is osteoarthritis (sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” and typically is found in older people). Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis are common types of arthritis found in the knee.
Athletes who play high demand sports, such as soccer, football and basketball are subject to injury to one of the four cruciate ligaments. A quick change in directional movement or an awkward landing from a jump can cause a tear. A blow to the front of the knee is the typical cause of a tear occurring in the PCL. Any force that pushes the knee sideways can result in an injury to the MCL or LCL.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – when the ligament is sprained or torn from a sudden stop or slowing down while running, awkwardly landing from a jump, rapidly changing direction or direct contact or collision
Seek medical treatment from a knee specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Pain or swelling in the knee
Feeling like the knee is “catching” or “locking up”
A “popping” noise associated with the time of injury
An inability to put weight on the knee or move the knee
Your doctor will discuss all treatment options with you. The best treatment for your injury or condition will be determined in combination with your overall health.
There are several nonoperative treatment options for knee pain. These might include physical therapy, pain management in the form of over-the-counter or prescribed medications and/or anti-inflammatories or immobilizing the afflicted knee with a brace. If surgery is necessary, PSO knee specialists can perform a wide variety of procedures ranging from minimally invasive to major reconstruction.
A total knee replacement is the procedure performed when a knee is damaged beyond repair. Major injuries and various diseases can damage the knee to this point where the best treatment option is to replace the knee joint. The goal of a knee replacement is to reduce pain and improve function and mobility of the […]
An ACL tear can be either a sprain or a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament. This key ligament holds together the femur and tibia and is pivotal in providing motion for the leg. In particular this ligament provides stability in the knee and with other ligaments inside, outside and within the knee. These different […]
The complex function of the knee relies on many bones and ligaments working properly. Injured or sprained ligaments can create instability since the ligaments control the backwards, forwards and sideways motion of the knee. When the knee is forced sideways it can rupture the different soft tissues that provide support and stability. Swelling, pain and […]
"Dr. Vaughan is a fabulous surgeon and 12 years later his work is still performing great. At that time I was 105 lbs heavier than I am now, even under the weight strain of the past my knees today work perfectly fine. I sincerely thank Dr. Vaughan for his excellent care and workmanship." - Kerri
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"Dr. Vaughan gave me lots of great information on exercises I can do at home for my knees. I will absolutely recommend him." - Andrea
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"Dr. Vaughan & his team are wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable. Always explaining every step of the way! Thanks Dr Vaughan!!"
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"I had an absolutely stress free surgery. I had no complaints before, during or after my procedure. I would recommend this staff and especially Dr. Ghidella. He was so kind he made me feel like I had known and trusted him forever. I would recommend this team to anyone." - Elaine
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Dr. Martin is a very good doctor. He takes his time and listens to your problems. My surgery was a success. I recommend him very highly! - John
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"Your staff were very courteous and welcoming! Dr. Blair answered all my questions in a very thorough and patient manner." - Michael
"He saw my problems and even researched dates of things I had forgotten. He saw that I needed a more updated EMG done and referred me back to my rheumatologist." - Carolyn
"Dr. Vaughan is always friendly, engaged, and excellent at explaining what's going on. I trust him." - Barbara
"I think Dr. Gray is the best doctor. I recommend him to everyone that needs his service." - Verlin
"I have been at this center several times and I am met with the most professional staff each time. They show that they care about each patient and you feel that at that moment no one is more important than you. Hats off to my nurse Sharon. She was awesome. Thank you." - Anonymous
"Love Puget Sound Orthopaedics. Dr. Hassan is amazing!! Great attitude, friendly, compassionate, empathetic and he is always smiling!! Those girls at the front desk are also always smiling, no matter what is going on. When checking in patients, they greet each and every patient with a smile. Huge kudos to this clinic. Everyone is so welcoming, kind, friendly, and smiley. Great job everyone!!" - Anonymous
"Dr. Jenkins always explains my injury in terms that I can understand and answers all my questions, taking the extra time with me." - Warren
"Dr. Krumins and his PA were amazing. Both were patient and answered all my questions and concerns to completion." - Stephen
"Angie was very encouraging and listened to me. I appreciate that." - Julie
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"Dr. Hassan is fantastic, and I would recommend him to anyone." - Betty
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“Dr. Thomas is one of the friendliest doctors I have seen, and I have seen a lot of doctors for my issues. He made me feel very comfortable and like he cared and wanted to help me figure out how to fix my pain.” - Megan