Rejuvenative procedures are usually always keyhole procedures that allow very detailed visualisation of the knee joint through two small incisions, each less than 1cm, at the front of the knee. Existing tissue is restored to a more normal state such as where a torn meniscal cartilage is trimmed (arthroscopy) and / or sutured back into place (meniscal repair) or where loose damaged patella cartilage is tidied up and tight lateral retinacular bands tilting the patella excessively are release (lateral release). These procedures may be day surgery with no crutches required or possibly a one night stay in hospital and up to a week on crutches. Keyhole surgery can be performed with minimum disruption to the surrounding tissue of the knee, allowing for a swift recovery.
Reconstructive procedures include those where ligamentous structures (ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL, PCL, PLC) are repaired or rebuilt using the patient’s own tissue and various reconstructive devices. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is the most common ligament reconstructive procedure and is performed via keyhole surgery, usually requiring an overnight stay in hospital. Reconstructive techniques also address issues of malalignment and include procedures including patellofemoral realignment or osteotomies. These are generally larger operations requiring two nights in hospital and crutches during the recovery period.
The knee joint endures more load across it than any other joint in the human body and can develop wear and tear loss of cartilage commonly referred to as osteoarthritis which is the most common form of arthritis, affecting nearly 2 million Australians. Depending on the severity of the arthritis and the patient’s symptoms, it may appropriate to consider replacing the knee with a prosthetic device or knee replacement. Replacement techniques include total knee replacement (TKR), unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) or more complex replacement procedures involving metallic augments and long stems.