Knee Surgery

Knee surgery is sometimes needed when conservative treatments have not effectively treated an injury. We will discuss what knee surgery is and the common types of knee injuries that can occur.

At Brotzman Sports Medicine in Austin, Texas, we are helping many to become mobile again. Call to book a consultation today and learn how we can help you.

S. Brent Brotzman, MD

Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Austin, TX

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Knee Anatomy

The knee is a complex joint, making it prone to various injuries like sprains, ligament tears, fractures, and dislocations. Treatment for these injuries can range from simple measures like bracing and exercises to more complex solutions like surgery.

The knee comprises four key structures to make it the largest joint in the body. These include bones (femur, tibia, patella), cartilage (articular cartilage and meniscus), ligaments (collateral and cruciate), and tendons (quadriceps and patellar).

The bones—femur, tibia, and patella—form the joint, with the patella safeguarding the front. Articular cartilage covers the bone ends to enable smooth movement, while the meniscus acts as a shock absorber.

Ligaments, such as the collateral ligaments (inside and outside the knee) and cruciate ligaments (inside the joint), stabilize the knee’s motion. Tendons, like the quadriceps and patellar, link muscles to bones, aiding movement and stability.

Knee Surgery Explained

Knee surgery can be performed as a minimally invasive procedure or through open surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures are performed using an arthroscope, a small camera that the surgeon inserts through a tiny incision. Through another small incision, the surgeon will insert instruments to perform the procedure. Minimally invasive procedures result in lower complications and faster recovery times.

Open surgery is when the surgeon makes larger incisions to treat knee injuries. Open surgery is often needed to perform total knee replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty) and treat displaced fractures.

What Are the Different Types of Knee Injuries?

Knee injuries can include sprains and tears of soft tissue such as the ligaments or meniscus. You can also fracture or dislocate the knee. Knee injuries often affect more than one structure in the knee.

You likely have a knee injury if you have pain and swelling around your knee joint. A knee injury may also cause your knee to catch or lock during movements. You may also feel like your knee is giving way if you have an ACL tear.

Common knee injuries include the following:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries: These often result in sports that involve pivoting or rapid directional changes. ACL injuries often cause severe pain and result in damage to other structures.
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries: These injuries are often caused by forceful impacts such as automobile accidents.
  • Collateral Ligament Injuries: Both your medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament can be affected by a blow.
  • Meniscal Tears: These often occur in sports that require pivoting or twisting. The risk of tearing your meniscus increases with age and arthritis.
  • Tendon Tears: Often caused by a fall or an awkward landing.
  • Fractures: The patella is the most likely bone to break in the knee. However, high-energy trauma can cause the femur and tibia ends to fracture.
  • Dislocation: This is when the bones are forced out of place. It can occur through high-energy trauma or falls from a height.

Types of Knee Surgery We Offer

At Brotzman Sports Medicine, Dr. Brotzman offers several treatments for knee injuries. Below is a list of each knee surgery we offer in our sports medicine office in Austin, Texas.

Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy

A meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of thick, fibrous cartilage in the knee between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). An injury to the knee can tear the meniscus.

In a partial meniscectomy, a section of the damaged cartilage must be removed. An arthroscope is a surgical instrument that allows the surgeon to see and work inside the joint through one or more small incisions.

Patellofemoral Realignment Surgery

The patellofemoral joint is the area where the femur (thighbone) and patella (kneecap) come together. The joint line, as the name implies, is the area along which the two bones meet.

The patient usually feels pain in the front of the knee, which is worse with climbing stairs. Conservative therapy is often helpful. Surgery may be necessary to correct poor alignment of the knee or cartilage loss of the patellofemoral joint.

OATS Procedure

OATS is an acronym for Osteoarticular Transfer System. In the OATS procedure, damaged knee cartilage is surgically removed and replaced with small plugs of healthy cartilage from another part of the knee. OATS is used in patients who have small areas of cartilage damage; it is not suitable for more widespread damage.

Recovery After Knee Surgery

You should be able to go home within 1 or 2 hours after your knee surgery. However, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully during the recovery period.

Pain Management

Pain relief will help you to heal faster. You will be given pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Physical Therapy

Your orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist may recommend that you exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. The exercises will help restore strength and mobility to your knee.

Book a Knee Surgery Consultation Today

At Brotzman Sports Medicine in Austin, TX, we specialize in treating knee injuries. If you are looking for an orthopedic surgeon, give us a call. You can trust the expert care or Dr. Brotzman to help you get back to your best. Contact us today!


Words from our patients