What is knee surgery?
Knee surgery is a set of procedures aimed at treating knee joint pathologies. These can be due to sports injuries (e.g. fractures, sprains or ligament tears, or inflammation), malformations or degenerative diseases (e.g. arthritis).
Why is it done?
Knee surgery is performed to treat degenerative or traumatic joint conditions. The pathologies most frequently treated with knee surgery are knee arthritis, which involves wear and tear of the cartilage and structures such as the meniscus, bone and synovial tissue, causing a limitation of movement capacity and joint deformation. Knee surgery aims to improve the performance of the joint, reduce pain and discomfort, and increase mobility.
What does knee surgery involve?
Knee surgery employs numerous techniques. For the treatment of degenerative diseases, the most commonly used techniques are:
- Arthroscopy: minimally invasive knee surgery that inserts very small surgical instruments through small incisions.
- Osteotomy: parts of the bone are cut to improve the alignment of the joint and improve its function.
- Implantation of prostheses: indicated when the joint is severely damaged (i.e. knee replacement surgery).
How do you prepare for knee surgery?
Preparation for surgery may vary depending on the type of surgery to be performed. Generally, clinical history will be taken and examinations made (e.g. X-ray) to help decide which surgical procedure it most appropriate. It is also recommended to stop taking blood-thinning medications prior to surgery, but the specialist will provide any necessary information to the patient in order to best prepare for the operation.
The recovery times and the precautions to be followed vary according to the type of intervention carried out. Following hospital admission, the patient may experience pain that can be controlled by taking painkillers.