Knee surgeon Sydney

knee surgeon sydneyWhy do you need Knee surgery/surgeon and why you feel knee pain? The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. It consists of bones, ligaments, and muscles. The knee is made up of the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap). The meniscus, a soft cartilage between the femur and tibia, serves to cushion the knee and helps it absorb shock during motion.

The stability and strength of the knee joint are maintained by four ligaments: the medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.

When any of these structures are injured you may have knee pain and difficulty in walking. You may hear a popping or snapping sensation at the time of the injury or you may feel like your knee is giving way. You may also have swelling, limping, and inability to move the knee. If care is not taken during the initial phases of injury it may lead to joint damage that may end up destroying your knee. In such a situation you need to see Knee Surgeons and for your knee treatment. 

What is Knee Arthritis?

The bones in a normal knee are lined with a smooth layer of cartilage. This cartilage allows the adjacent surfaces in the knee to glide smoothly and painlessly against each other.

Arthritis is the most common cause of knee pain. Arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Osteoarthritis is also called as a degenerative joint disease; this is the most common type of arthritis, which occurs often in older people. This disease affects cartilage, the tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in a joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to wear away over time. In extreme cases, the cartilage can completely wear away, leaving nothing to protect the bones in a joint, causing bone-on-bone contact. Bones may also bulge, or stick out at the end of a joint, called a bone spur.

How is the knee joint structure?

The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. It consists of bones, ligaments, and muscles. The knee is made up of the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap). The meniscus, a soft cartilage between the femur and tibia, serves to cushion the knee and helps it absorb shock during motion.

The stability and strength of the knee joint are maintained by four ligaments: the medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.

When any of these structures are injured you may have knee pain and difficulty in walking. You may hear a popping or snap sensation at the time of the injury or you may feel like your knee is giving way. You may also have to swell, limping, and inability to move the knee. If care is not taken during the initial phases of injury it may lead to joint damage that may end up destroying your knee.

Some of the Knee injuries and Tears

Knee Sprain

knee surgeon SydneyA knee sprain is a common injury that occurs from over-stretching of the ligaments that support the knee joint. A knee sprain occurs when the knee ligaments are twisted or turned beyond its normal range causing the ligaments to tear.

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Tears

The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the major ligaments of the knee that is located in the middle of the knee and runs from the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone). It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. Together with posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), it provides rotational stability to the knee.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tears

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is located on the inner part of the knee joint. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the top of the tibia (shinbone) and helps in stabilising the knee. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury can result in a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament. Injuries to the MCL commonly occur as a result of a pressure or stress on the outside part of the knee. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may be torn along with an MCL injury.

MCL Sprain

The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), a band of tissue present on the inside of your knee joint, connects your thigh bone and shin bone (bone of your lower leg). The MCL maintains the integrity of the knee joint and prevents it from bending inward.

Meniscal Injuries

The knee is one of the most complex and largest joints in the body and is more susceptible to injury. Meniscal tears are one among the common injuries to the knee joint. It can occur at any age but are more common in athletes playing contact sports.

Meniscal Tear

A meniscal tear is a tear that occurs in the cartilage of the knee. The meniscus is a small, “C” shaped piece of cartilage in the knee joint. Each knee has two menisci, the medial meniscus on the inner aspect of the knee and the lateral meniscus on the outer aspect of the knee. The medial and lateral menisci act as a cushion between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia).

Ligament Injuries

The knee is a complex joint which consists of bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons that make joint movements easy and at the same time more susceptible to various kinds of injuries.

Multiligament Instability

The knee is a complex joint of the body which is vital for movement. The four major ligaments of the knee are an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament. They play an important role in maintaining the stability of the knee. An injury resulting in the tear of one or more ligaments of the knee thus affects knee stability.

Multiligament Injuries

Ligaments are the fibrous tissue brands connecting the bones in the joint and stabilising the joint. The knee joint has 2 sets of ligaments–collateral ligaments (medial and collateral ligaments) that connect the bones on the outer side of the knee and cruciate ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament) those present inside the joint. The multi-ligament injury is the injury to multiple ligaments at the same time. Damage to three or more ligaments may cause joint dislocation.

What are the common causes of knee injury?

Common causes of knee injury are
• Fracture of femur (thigh bone), tibia and fibula (leg bones)
• Torn ligament (either anterior or posterior cruciate ligament)
• Rupture of blood vessels following a trauma that leads to accumulation of extra fluid or blood in the joint
• Dislocation of knee cap (patella)
• Torn quadriceps or hamstring muscles
• Patellar tendon tear

What is the diagnosis for knee pain?

Several tests are performed to evaluate the ligaments of the knee. We will go through the tests such as MRI, CT scan, and X-ray to help diagnose more complicated or severe injuries.

Know your options for knee surgery/treatment

Immediately following a knee injury and before being evaluated by a medical doctor, you should initiate the R.I.C.E. method of treatment:

• Rest: Rest the knee, as more damage could result from putting pressure on the injury.
• Ice: Ice packs applied to the injury will help diminish swelling and pain.  Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days.  Never place ice directly on the skin.
• Compression: Wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage or compression stocking can help to minimise the swelling and support your knee.
• Elevation: Elevating the knee above heart level will also help with swelling and pain.

What is a Total Knee Replacement?

A total knee replacement is a prosthesis that is used to replace a knee joint that is affected by arthritis. Total knee replacement is considered a treatment option if your knee pain cannot be managed any longer by conservative treatment. Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the worn, damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with new artificial parts.  If you find difficulty in performing simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs because of your severe arthritic knee pain, then total knee joint replacement may be considered. It is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain, correct leg deformity, and help you resume normal activities.

Your knee surgeon at Sydney

We will organise routine blood tests, ECG and other x-rays prior to your surgery. If you have a pre-existing condition (eg: heart disease or diabetes) you will need to be given the “all clear” by your treating physician before surgery. Your anaesthetist will explain to you the various options with regards to anaesthetic during the operation and the anaesthetic most suitable for you. In addition, your anaesthetist will discuss the most effective post-operative pain relief for you. On the day of the surgery, the implants are positioned in the body with the help of the robotic system. The robotic systems provide real-time images during the surgery which help your doctor control the position and alignment of the implant accurately. Accuracy plays a major role in the success of the surgery and lifespan of the implant.

You will be admitted to the hospital usually the day of your surgery. Knee replacement involves removal of the damaged cartilage and bone and insertion of the new plastic and metal surfaces to restore the alignment and function of your knee. Before completion of the operation, the knee is checked for stability, alignment and degree of motion.

Your Stay in the Hospital during knee surgery Sydney

You will wake up in the recovery room with a number of monitors to record your vitals. (Blood pressure, Pulse, Oxygen saturation, temperature, etc.) You will have a dressing on your hip and drains coming out of your wound.
You will spend the first post-operative day in bed and most likely stay in the hospital for several days and also prescribe physical therapy to help strengthen and improve range-of-motion in your hip joint. Once you are stable and awake you will be taken back to the ward.

You will have one or two drips on your arm for fluid and pain relief. This will be explained to you by your anaesthetist.

On the day following surgery, your drains will usually be removed and you will be allowed to sit out of bed or walk depending on your surgeon’s preference. Pain is normal but if you are in a lot of pain, inform your nurse.

You will be discharged to go home or a rehabilitation hospital approximately 5-7 days depending on your pain and help at home.

What happens after you go home?

A post-operative visit will be arranged prior to your discharge.

You will be advised about how to walk with crutches for two weeks following knee surgery and then using walking aids for another four to six weeks.

Knee replacement recovery time

Most patients will require some form of walking aid: crutches, a frame, or a stick for about three months. This depends on your confidence, although a stick outside the home is a good idea for the first three months as it alerts others that you are possibly still slightly unsteady.

Most patients can safely drive at 6 weeks and gradually increase walking distances at this time. Bowls and golf may be resumed at 3 to 6 months. Running is not recommended at any time after the operation as wear of the prosthesis will occur more rapidly .

Knee surgery cost

For all enquiries regarding costs for either appointments or an operation, Dr Rimmer’s secretary will be able to provide you with a cost estimate for your surgery.

Dr Rimmer has made the decision to NO GAP all his patients with private health insurance who require surgery. This ensures great value and savings to patients who pay a substantial amount to insure themselves and their families.

Please note, other possible fees MAY include:

1. The Anaesthetist
2. The Assistant
3. The Hospital
4. The Prosthesis
5. Post-operative Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy

Dr Rimmer’s secretary Kylie Waterson will be able to help you with enquiries about ANY of the above.