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Knee Surgery

knee surgery

When conservative treatment methods don’t offer knee pain relief for an injury or chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, surgery may be your best treatment option.

At MedStar Orthopedic Institute, our experts are recognized nationally for excellence for orthopedic care, including knee surgery. In fact, several of our hospitals earned advanced certification in knee replacement from The Joint Commission.

We offer the most advanced care for knee pain treatment, including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical options, for patients of all ages and activity levels. Many of the area’s professional sports teams and colleges trust us to care for their athletes, and we’re honored to offer you the same personalized and comprehensive treatment.  Read one top lacrosse player's story.  

At MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, you don't just have a doctor — you have a team of specialists, including orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation and physical medicine specialists, physical and occupational therapists, orthopedic nurses, and case managers.

Learn more about some of the best surgical treatment options for knee joint pain below. Questions? Call us today at 877-34-ORTHO.

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While there are many surgical techniques used to repair a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), most are performed through a minimally invasive approach that uses an arthroscope, or thin, flexible tube equipped with a small camera. The procedure is typically performed in an hour, and most patients can expect to go home the same day.

Through a small incision, your surgeon will remove the damaged ligament and replace it with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or a donor, called a graft. The new tendon will be secured in place so that you can begin moving your knee while the graft grows into a functioning ACL.

Related: ACL reconstruction surgery gets a young lacrosse athlete back in the game

For the first few days after surgery, you will need to use crutches and a knee brace as you move around. In the months that follow, physical therapy will be important to restoring mobility and strength to the knee joint and surrounding muscles. If you are an athlete, it may take over six months before you can return to your sport.

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that gives doctors a clear view of the inside of the knee, helping them accurately diagnose and treat knee joint pain. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon inserts a small camera the size of a pencil, called an arthroscope, into the knee joint. The scope sends the image to a television monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the structures of the knee in great detail.

Your surgeon will insert tiny instruments through another small incision. These instruments might be scissors, motorized shavers, or lasers. This makes it possible for the surgeon to perform a range of procedures to repair damage to the meniscus, cartilage, or ligaments surrounding the joint. This includes smoothing or repairing torn ACL’s, trimming bone spurs, and removing inflamed tissue caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Recovery from knee arthroscopy is much faster than recovery from traditional open knee surgery. You should be able to return to most physical activities after six to eight weeks or sooner, in some cases. You may need to avoid high impact activities for a longer period. Some surgeries commonly performed arthroscopically are ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, and meniscal root repair.

Knee replacement surgery is designed to help you regain your strength, balance, and mobility after nonsurgical treatment options have failed. In this procedure, damaged tissue is removed and the knee joint is resurfaced using artificial materials. These artificial materials include metal and plastic parts that help your knee joint glide seamlessly.

Learn more about knee replacement surgery.

The meniscal root is attached to the middle of the knee near the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The root holds the meniscus in place, which provides stability to the knee. Most meniscal injuries are repaired by trimming the injured tear but meniscal root injuries require a different approach.

There are two different patient groups who experience meniscal root tears, including:

  • Patients under 40 who experience a tear along with other knee trauma, such as an ACL injury
  • Patients over 40 who experience a root injury caused by degenerative “wear and tear”

Left untreated, meniscal root tears can lead to severe osteoarthritis and other serious problems. It can be extremely difficult to see the tear on imaging and it is a technically difficult procedure to perform. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment right away from a highly-skilled knee surgeon who has experience in diagnosing and fixing root tears.

In some cases, patients with knee pain from a torn meniscus can find relief without surgery. But when nonsurgical treatments aren’t enough, your orthopedist may recommend a meniscal tear repair.

A meniscus tear repair is performed arthroscopically using small incisions and a pencil-sized camera. During the surgery, your knee surgeon will repair or replace the meniscus in your knee with a graft, which is tissue from a donor. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, you can expect the surgery to last under an hour and you can typically go home the same day.

Recovery will vary based on your unique case, but most patients can expect to wear a knee brace and use crutches for up to six weeks following surgery. Your doctor will also recommend physical therapy to help you regain control and motion of your knee.

Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is an advanced procedure that uses Makoplasty® software and technology to replace the knee joint with greater accuracy and precision than traditional surgery. We can use Makoplasty® technology to perform both partial and total knee replacements. In fact, we were the first health system to use Makoplasty® technology for total knee replacements in Maryland.

Now, we are performing more Mako procedures than any other hospital in the state.

Robotic-assisted surgery allows our knee surgeons to completely customize the preparation and placement of the implant for your procedure based on your unique anatomy. This results in a more natural fit and better function. It can also shorten recovery times, lessen pain in recovery, and increase the life of the joint.

Learn more about knee replacement surgery.