Knee

Knee arthroscopy

This is a less invasive “keyhole” procedure to allow us to find and repair problems in the knee. Most often, this will need just 2 small cuts below the kneecap. It takes about an hour in theatre and the person is usually discharged to recuperate at home on the same day. In this procedure we can deal with cartilage damage, meniscal tears and remove loose bodies. Arthroscopy is also used (to aid repair) in many other procedures such as ACL reconstruction.

Arthroscopy theatre
Meniscus

Meniscal repair

The meniscus is a specialised cartilage structure in the knee which helps with stability and shock absorption. When torn, it can either be repaired or the torn segments removed. Repair is always the first option, but sometimes with severe damage this is not possible. Recovery post operatively on a repair is a longer, more demanding process than with removal of torn segments.

Ligament reconstruction

The most commonly injured ligament in the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). In most cases, people who tear the ACL need a reconstruction. The symptoms of an ACL tear are pain, swelling and later, instability or giving way of the knee. The main reason for reconstructive surgery is to repair the instability of the knee. The procedure is done through “keyhole” approach and the ligament is reconstructed using the person’s own hamstring tendon as a graft. The surgery has a high success rate of 85 – 90% and will allow the person to get back to normal and sporting activities.

Unicompartmental knee replacement

This is a partial knee replacement done when only one side of a knee is worn. It makes up only 20% of all knee replacements and is only done for very specific symptoms. It is technically demanding but, when done correctly, allows for faster rehabilitation and return to activity than a total knee replacement.

medial OA
uni ap
uni lateral

Total knee replacement

This procedure is carried out to reduce pain and restore mobility in the knee that is worn out (eg. from Arthritis). The worn cartilage and bone is carefully cut out and replaced with a shaped prosthesis which is cemented in place.This resurfaced bone then aligns with a specially shaped medical grade plastic spacer which stops bone rubbing on bone and removes the cause of the pain. The surgery takes about 90 minutes and a stay in hospital between 1 and 2 days. The results of the surgery are positive with most people having an extremely good result.

OA erect
AP Triathlon
Lat Triathlon

Revision knee replacement

Modern knee replacements are expected to last more than 20 years. However, they are still mechanical parts that, when worn down, may cause problems that require the knee to be removed and replaced with a new prosthesis. The second knee replacement is a more complex procedure, but it has good results. Older implants need to be followed up frequently to prevent potential problems arising.

Our specialists

Dr James McAllister

Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon

BSc MBChB H.Dip Orth (SA) FC Orth (SA)

Dr Rian Smit

Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB H.Dip Orth (SA) FC Orth (SA)