Knee pain from arthritis ranges from an occasional annoyance to something that is severely debilitating. Treatments today can leave you pain free and many choices don’t involve surgery. When these work, life can go on for you as normal. When they don’t, it might be time for something more.
I’ve written before how knees are like tires and can wear down in time. The ultimate answer is to get a new tire. Today’s approaches to ‘replace the tire’ are extremely effective in getting rid of pain and getting you back to normal life.
Knee Pain: Joint Resurfacing
Joint resurfacing is an exciting approach for athletes and active adults with knee pain from damage to the cartilage surfaces. Different from a traditional knee replacement, this approach resurfaces only the damaged parts of the joint and leaves the rest of the joint surfaces and ligaments intact. This allows the knee to feel and act as normally as possible, giving you a more natural painless feel with activities.
In most cases, this procedure can be done robotically. I will have you get a specialized scan first – this information is fed into a computer to help create a customized a surgical plan for you. The procedure is done using a computerized robotic device that guides the surgical procedure in detail based on the scan. In Southern California, this procedure is performed on Coronado Island in San Diego.
Please understand that these terms ‘resurfacing’ and ‘replacing’ are often used interchangeably as they are essentially the same.
Knee pain: Joint Replacing
When the level of knee damage and knee pain is too severe, or there are other issues to correct like alignment or deformity, a modern total knee procedure may be the perfect solution to allow you to return to nearly all activities including hiking, biking, tennis, skiing, swimming and many other activities with limited impact. This has a very high success rate!
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What is right for one person may not be the same for you. It is my passion to keep you going at your maximal level. Contact me through my office or through ‘Ask Dr. Hacker’ on my website.
Dr. Scott Hacker is a Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon in San Diego, CA, Team Surgeon to the US Olympic Team. He specializes in sports medicine and sports injuries, knee and shoulder surgery.
If you have questions about joint resurfacing and the best option for you, please feel free to contact me at Ask Dr. Hacker or through my office.
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