Orthopaedics, which covers bone health, can help people who are suffering from injuries or conditions that affect the functioning of the knees, shoulders, neck, elbows, back, hands, hips, and feet. Many of the procedures require the expertise of a doctor that is skilled as an educator and a surgeon in orthopaedics.
One of the areas of the body that is often treated by orthopaedists is the knee. Whether the patient is younger or older, the knee can sustain a lot of use and abuse. Therefore, treatment is often indicated in the form of surgery.
Common Knee Injuries
Some of the common conditions that a bone doctor orthopaedic specialist addresses are represented by the following diagnoses:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Bursitis of the knee, also referred to as housemaid’s knee
- Knee cartilage injuries
- Knee dislocations
- Meniscus tears
One of the more common conditions of athletes is ACL injuries. Athletes who participate in high-energy activities, such as soccer, basketball, or football, often suffer from ACL injuries. Each ACL injury varies. As a result, each treatment for the condition is different. For example, a patient with a stretched ligament will be treated differently than an athlete with an ACL injury that involves a full tear. Therefore, treatment may range from rehabilitation to reconstructive surgery.
Normally, surgery is performed for partial or complete tears so an athlete can return to the playing field or court. ACL surgeries of this type boast around a 90% success rate.
It is easy to sustain a knee injury, as four ligaments in the knee tend to be injured during heavy sports play. These ligaments include the following:
- The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the primary ligaments in the knee. It links the shinbone to the thigh bone.
- The PCL or posterior cruciate ligament is considered a secondary ligament, and, like the ACL, links the shinbone to the thigh bone.
- The LCL or lateral collateral ligament links the fibula and thigh bone. The fibula is a smaller bone in the lower part of the leg. It is found on the outside of the knee.
- The MCL or medial collateral ligament links the shinbone to the thigh bone on the inner part of the knee.
ACL injuries, which, as noted, are one of the main types of knee injuries, are categorised as sprains, each of which are classified as grade I, II, or III. A grade I sprain is a stretched ligament that is not torn. Little tenderness or swelling is observed. The knee still remains relatively stable. Grade II sprains represent ligaments that are partially torn. Some tenderness and moderate swelling are displayed. The joint may be unstable. Grade III sprains represent injuries where the ligament is completely torn. Tenderness is noted and swelling may or may not be seen.