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 of the knee. The anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments control the back and forth motion of the knee. In addition two (2) menisci act as “shock absorbers.” The menisci are made up of cartilage and help cushion and stabilize the knee 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 of the knee are prone to fracture but the kneecap breaks more often because it acts as a shield for the knee joint. The kneecap can become unstable or dislocate if it slips out of its v-shaped groove in the femur.
Another type of fracture involving a knee bone 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.
COMMON KNEE CONDITIONS
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
Meniscus tears – tearing of the rubbery cartilage in the knee
WHEN TO SEE A KNEE SPECIALIST
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 such as knee joint replacement.
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. Gray replaced both of my knees. He did an excellent job surgically as well as preparing me for this surgery through his staff and the joint class and preoperative meeting with Sarah PA-C. I was standing the day of surgery and walking within 24 hours. I was back at work and driving within 3 weeks. Physical therapy and a successful surgery made all the difference. Dr. Gray and his staff have been great answering questions and support. I would highly recommend Dr. Gray and I am very glad that I did a double knee replacement." - Francea
"Dr. Ghidella has taken great care of me through this difficult journey. I would recommend him to anyone who needed orthopedic surgery." - Kristina
“Communication is the key to everything. Nick Harrison was very helpful and able to explain the injury.” - Carl
"I have been going to this office for a couple of years now. Everyone on the team has been absolutely wonderful to me. They are warm and friendly, but retain their professionalism. They do try to make my life easier." - Sherie
"Dr. Gray and his staff are terrific. I am very confident in how he addressed and treated me." - Jim
“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
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
“Dr. Phil Yearian is so good at knowing feet! He is efficient at what he does.” - Verna
"Dr. Bargren shows concern and empathizes with my issues. He asks questions and listens when I talk. I have the utmost confidence in his abilities and knowledge. He is a great doctor and a warm, friendly care provider. He always takes time to explain things clearly." - Gary
"My experience was very much appreciated! The receptionist and the complete staff was very friendly! We new that Dr. Martin is one of the best in his field!"
"Dr. Ghidella made me feel very comfortable and was so helpful in assisting me in ways to better my wrist." - Madi
“Dr. Hassan was very kind and full of information that I understood about my injury. He even took time to show me my x-rays.” - Toni
"Terrific doctor and great clinic. Excellent care and follow up. I read the Core Values (H.E.A.R.T.) before my surgery and wondered if they would show up in my experience and sure enough they did. This is an outfit I would recommend to anyone who needs this kind of care." - Catherine
“I am very impressed with Dr. Jenkins. He really put me at ease with what to expect. I would recommend him very highly to anyone who needs shoulder work!” - Nancy
"Dr. Ghidella was very informative and answered all my questions. He explained the process of surgery, should that be necessary. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for answers that have the same problems I have experienced."
"Maggie was very professional and honest. It was a pleasure to know that there are still good providers who take pride in caring for their patients first. Thank you for that.” - Jose
"Dr. Jenkins always explains my injury in terms that I can understand and answers all my questions, taking the extra time with me." - Warren
"I was so impressed by the staff. Everyone was professional and made me feel safe. I was impressed by Dr. Ghidella and felt fortunate to be able to have found him."
“He is the most amazing doctor. I can’t even begin to stress the gratitude I have for him and the care I received.” - Gabriella
"Dr. Yearian has provided me with exceptional care for nearly 20 years." - Roger
"It was good to talk to someone who explained the options on knee care and replacement alternatives to me so well, not filled with technical jargon, but in terms easily understood."
"I was so pleased with my appointment. So impressed with the promptness. The staff was pleasant and nice. Meeting Dr. Gray was an enjoyable experience. He was pleasant and explained how my knee replacement after 7 yrs presented in the X-rays. It was good news. What a great surprise and lovely experience to meet the doctor and staff. I am happy!"
"Dr. Krumins listened to me, reviewed x-rays , clearly explained to me what he saw, and described short and long term options to manage my knee arthritis." - Anonymous
"I would recommend Dr. Hassan and Puget Sound Orthopaedics to anyone with hand injuries or shoulder problems." - Cheryl
Dr. Hassan is probably one of the best listeners I've ever had the pleasure of speaking with. - Anthony
"We have always had wonderful care from Dr. Smith. He is kind, caring and very knowledgeable. We have referred many patients to him."
"Dr. Vaughn has done knee replacement on both of my knees. He is very courteous and has answered every question I have ever had. I would recommend him to everyone." - Elaine
"Dr. Gray was amazing! He listened to my concerns and came up with a treatment plan that addresses my lifestyle and injuries as well." - Anonymous
"Maggie was very good at her job and very friendly." - Robin
"I trust Dr. Krumins completely. He is honest with me, compassionate & superb in his field. He is by far the best orthopedic surgeon I have ever had."