Knee pain is a common condition in people of all ages and can affect your ability to walk, run, kneel or even get up from a seated position.
If knee pain is affecting your ability to participate in your favorite activities or perform everyday tasks, the fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists at Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic can help. In addition to delivering a fast, accurate diagnosis, we offer the most effective treatment options to help you return to an active, pain-free life — as safely and quickly as possible.
Whether you are suffering from chronic knee pain caused by a degenerative condition or an acute sports injury, the specialists at Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic can provide expert, multidisciplinary knee care for a range of conditions, including:
Your knee is a complex joint that is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. To find the source of your pain or injury, our specialists will take the time to conduct a thorough examination and deliver an accurate diagnosis.
In addition to discussing your symptoms and history of knee problems, our specialists will ask you questions about your lifestyle, including what sports you play and what type of work you do, to try to determine the cause of your knee pain. To ensure the most accurate diagnosis, our specialists also may order imaging tests, including:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images of your bones, joints, ligaments, cartilage, soft tissues and other body structures.
- X-Ray. X-ray is a quick, painless imaging procedure that creates digital pictures of your bones, soft tissue and other body structures. It is typically used to diagnose broken bones and other causes of pain.
- Ultrasound. Ultrasound is a safe, painless procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves and their echoes to create detailed images of soft tissue and other body parts.
After delivering an accurate diagnosis, our skilled specialists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. Our specialists offer a range of treatments, including surgical and non-surgical options, as well as partial and total knee replacement procedures.
Our rehabilitation and physical therapy specialists are committed to finding the rehabilitation plan that works best for you. Non-surgical treatment options for your knee condition may include:
- Physical Therapy. Physical therapy uses a combination of special exercises, massage, heat and icing, ultrasound or electric stimulation to help you regain and/or increase strength, mobility, and function.
- Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapists teach special knee exercises and movement techniques that will help you to improve function and perform normal daily activities.
- Injections. Injections directly into the affected area of your knee can help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Medications. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medicines to relieve pain and swelling.
When non-surgical treatments do not provide relief or your condition is severe, knee surgery may be the best option for you. If you require knee surgery, our experienced, board-certified surgeons will use the latest minimally invasive, or arthroscopic, techniques whenever possible to provide the most effective treatment.
Arthroscopic surgery involves making a small incision near the affected area and inserting a small camera mounted on a thin, flexible tube to see inside your body. Small surgical tools are inserted through other incisions and the entire operation is broadcast on a television screen to help your surgeon guide the instruments. Surgical procedures we perform include:
- ACL, PCL, MCL or LCL Reconstruction or Repair. During reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) or lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the injured ligament is replaced with a graft. If a repair is possible, your surgeon will use large stitches, bone staples, screws or suture anchors to reattach the ligament.
- Personalized ACL Reconstruction. Studies have shown that ACL reconstruction patients who perform certain sports have better outcomes when different procedures and graft sites are used. Our surgeons offer personalized ACL reconstruction, meaning that they select where the graft will come from, such as your hamstring, quadriceps, patella or a cadaver, and whether to do one large graft (single-bundle) or two smaller grafts (double-bundle) based on the activities you perform. Skiers, for example, would not be ideal candidates for a patellar tendon graft because removal of the patellar tendon could affect knee flexibility and stability — a critical physical function when skiing.
- Partial meniscectomy. During a partial meniscectomy, damaged cartilage from your meniscus is trimmed away. If a repair is possible, your surgeon will stitch the torn pieces of cartilage together.
- Loose Body Removal. Loose body surgery removes bone and cartilage fragments within the knee joint that are causing pain and irritation. Your surgeon will use imaging technology to determine the size and location of the fragments before removing them through small incisions.
If your knee is severely damaged, your doctor may recommend a full or partial knee replacement. A partial knee replacement only replaces one part of your knee, such as your kneecap, the inside (medial) part or the outside (lateral) part. A full replacement replaces the entire knee joint. During your procedure, your doctor will replace damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap with an artificial joint made of high-grade metal and plastic parts.
We also offer comprehensive, personalized rehabilitation services to help you return to your normal activities after knee surgery or knee replacement. Because our renowned surgeons treat patients from across New England and beyond, our rehabilitation specialists can provide special home therapy protocols, as well as phone support and guidance, that allow patients who live far away to minimize long-distance travel and recover in the comfort of their homes.