Your knee is the largest joint in your body, which also makes it vulnerable to injury or other problems. Sports, exercise and general wear and tear can cause muscle strains, tendinitis and more serious injuries—including ligament tears. With proper treatment, this can lead to long-term knee pain and instability, and make it difficult to turn or walk comfortably on your leg.
If a severe knee injury is keeping you from your active life, surgery may be your best solution. At Kentucky River Medical Center, the orthopedic surgeons specialize in arthroscopic knee ligament repair, a minimally invasive option that can help you get back faster to the things you love.
About Knee Ligament Injuries
There are four major ligaments in the knee—tough bands of connective tissue that stabilize the joint:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): Controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia (shin bone). The ACL is the most commonly injured ligament, accounting for more than 40% of all sports injuries.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): Controls backward movement of the tibia (shin bone). PCL injuries typically happen with direct, sudden impact, such as in a car accident.
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL): Gives stability to the inner knee. Injuries are often caused by blows to the knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL): Gives stability to the outer knee. LCL injuries can occur with sharp changes in direction.
For mild or partial ligament tears, Kentucky River Medical Center surgeons usually first recommend nonsurgical options, including rest, medication, physical therapy or knee bracing, which may allow the joint to heal over time. But, if the ligament is completely torn and limits even basic moments, we may suggest surgery for long-term stability and relief.
Arthroscopic Knee Repair: Less Pain, Faster Recovery
Kentucky River Medical Center‘s skilled surgeons can diagnose and repair the majority knee ligament injuries arthroscopically. This technique uses tiny tools and a camera inserted through a few small incisions around the joint to assess the damaged area.
During the surgery, your doctor will remove the torn ligament from your knee and replace it with a healthy tendon (called a graft), from somewhere else in your body or from donated tissue. This procedure has proven to be highly successful in returning stability and motion to the knee.
Knee arthroscopy often offers many benefits compared to open surgery, including:
- No cutting of muscles or tendons
- Minimal damage to surrounding soft tissues
- Less post-operative pain
- Less scarring
- Fewer complications
- Faster and more comfortable rehabilitation
- Quicker recovery and return to regular activities
We usually perform arthroscopy on an outpatient basis, allowing you to leave the hospital the same day and recover comfortably at home.
Rehabilitation to Get You Back in Action
A few weeks after surgery, physical therapists will work with you to create a custom rehabilitation plan based on your unique needs and goals. Your plan may include home exercises and other techniques to restore range of motion and balance, strengthen muscles, and, for athletes, help regain sports-specific skills. We also place special focus on education to protect your knee moving forward and help prevent re-injury.