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Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

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Arthroscopic knee surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to diagnose and treat knee joint conditions, such as meniscus tears and tendonitis. Dr. Jonathan Gelber only offers arthroscopic knee surgery if all other non-surgical options have been exhausted. Unlike open surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery involves small incisions and promotes faster recovery.

What Is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a cutting-edge surgical procedure that diagnoses and treats various knee joint issues. Unlike traditional open surgery, this minimally invasive approach involves small incisions, typically less than an inch, through which a specialized camera (arthroscope) is inserted. This camera provides a clear view of the knee’s interior, allowing surgeons to assess and address problems like torn ligaments, damaged cartilage, or inflamed tissues with precision. The smaller incisions reduce scarring, pain, and recovery time.

A man holding his knee, indicating knee pain in Burbank before getting it resolved.

Conditions That May Necessitate Arthroscopic Knee Surgery:

  • Torn ligaments, such as the ACL or PCL
  • Meniscus tears
  • Cartilage damage
  • Inflamed synovium
  • Knee joint infections
  • Loose bone fragments
  • Patellar problems
  • Arthritis-related issues

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Is a Last Resort

Dr. Gelber considers arthroscopic knee surgery a last resort. He advocates for conservative treatments as the primary course of action, reserving surgery only when absolutely necessary. Before considering surgery, Dr. Gelber may offer treatments like PRP and stem cell injections, viscosupplementation, cortisone injections, and integrative medicine.

These procedures stimulate natural cellular regeneration, reduce inflammation, and address the root causes of knee pain. Arthroscopic surgery is considered after exploring all other options.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Is Only Considered If:

  • Non-surgical treatments have proven ineffective
  • You experience persistent, debilitating knee pain after other treatments
  • Diagnostic tests confirm specific issues like ligament tears or cartilage damage
  • There is a clear medical necessity based on your condition and lifestyle

Meniscus Debridement & Repair

Meniscus debridement and repair are surgical techniques used to address a common knee problem known as a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage in the knee that acts as a cushion and stabilizer. When it tears, often due to injury or wear and tear, it can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility. This procedure involves trimming damaged meniscus tissues and stitching the torn edges back together.

Signs Indicating You May Need Meniscus Debridement & Repair:

  • Sharp or stabbing pain in the knee, particularly when bearing weight
  • Swelling, tenderness, or warmth in the knee joint
  • Limited range of motion, with difficulty bending or straightening the knee
  • A sensation of popping or locking in the knee during movement
  • Instability or a feeling of the knee giving way during physical activities
  • Symptoms that persist despite rest and non-surgical treatments

Cartilage Restoration

Cartilage restoration is a surgical approach to repairing damaged cartilage within knee joints. It addresses issues like cartilage defects, lesions, or osteoarthritis-related damage. Dr. Gelber may use techniques like microfracture, autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), and osteochondral grafting to encourage the growth and repair of cartilage tissue. This process aims to alleviate pain, improve joint function, and enhance overall mobility.

Signs Indicating You May Need Cartilage Restoration:

  • Persistent and localized joint pain, often aggravated by movement
  • Swelling and tenderness in the affected joint
  • Reduced range of motion and joint stiffness
  • A sensation of joint locking or catching during movement
  • Previous unsuccessful non-surgical treatments
  • Diagnosis of cartilage damage or defects through imaging tests

ACL Reconstruction

ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure to repair a torn or ruptured ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in the knee joint. The ACL is a crucial ligament for knee stability, but it can get damaged or torn. During this procedure, Dr. Gelber replaces the damaged ACL with a graft sourced from the patient’s own tissue (autograft) or a donor (allograft). ACL reconstruction is recommended when non-surgical treatments prove ineffective.

Signs Indicating You May Need ACL Reconstruction:

  • Severe pain and swelling in the knee following an injury
  • A feeling of instability or giving way in the knee during normal activities
  • Difficulty walking, running, or participating in physical activities
  • Positive results on diagnostic tests like MRI indicating an ACL tear
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected knee
  • Persistent joint laxity and decreased knee function despite conservative treatments

The Minimally Invasive Alternative to Open Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open surgery. Unlike open surgeries that involve larger incisions and direct visualization of the surgical site, arthroscopy employs small incisions and a tiny camera (arthroscope). This allows surgeons to access and treat joint issues with precision, reducing tissue damage, scarring, and recovery time. Patients typically experience less pain and quicker rehabilitation, making arthroscopic surgery a preferred choice for many orthopedic procedures, including knee surgeries.

Benefits of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery:

  • Smaller incisions result in reduced scarring and less tissue damage
  • Minimized risk of infection due to smaller wounds
  • Faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays
  • Less postoperative pain and discomfort
  • Enhanced visualization of the joint’s interior with an arthroscope
  • Improved precision in addressing specific issues like torn ligaments or cartilage damage
  • Quicker return to normal activities and sports

The Recovery Process After Arthroscopic Surgery

After arthroscopic knee surgery, you’ll be asked to rest and elevate the affected limb to reduce swelling. You’ll gradually start physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. Please follow Dr. Gelber’s instructions on pain management and exercise routines carefully. Full recovery can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the procedure. You can also expect periodic follow-up visits to monitor your progress and ensure a successful return to regular activities.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Aftercare Guidelines:

  • Rest and elevate the affected leg
  • Take all prescribed pain medications
  • Adhere to the recommended physical therapy plan
  • Keep the incisions clean and dry
  • Use crutches or assistive devices as instructed
  • Gradually increase weight-bearing activities as advised.
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with Dr. Gelber
  • Avoid high-impact activities until cleared by your surgeon
  • Maintain a balanced diet for optimal healing

Consult Dr. Gelber Today

Dr. Jonathan Gelber, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, understands the importance of an active lifestyle. As a lifelong athlete himself, he is committed to helping you reclaim optimal mobility through the least invasive methods possible. He shares the philosophy that surgery should always be the last resort. Dr. Gelber’s primary goal is to restore your mobility and well-being, allowing you to return to the activities you love. If you’re suffering from knee pain, consult Dr. Gelber to explore personalized treatment options.

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