The Doctors: Finding the Source of Chronic Knee Pain
The Doctors August 30 was all about looking and feeling better than you did in high school. A viewer wrote in to the show needed help with just that; in high school he was very active, but now that he’s in his mid 30s, Dave thinks that he may need knee surgery. If, like Dave, you think you may need surgery, what are some warning signs to look out for? (For more knee advice, check out a recent segment on Torn Meniscus Surgery.)
Dr Stork took a look at some of the most common warning signs. Do you have severe knee pain or stiffness, and is the pain present even while you are at rest? Are you limited in the everyday activities that you can perform? Does the pain persist despite treatment such as medications, injections, and physical therapy? Or, have you noticed a knee deformity? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you may need knee surgery.
The Doctors: Craig’s Chronic Knee Pain
We took a look at the story of another viewer, Craig, who has lived with knee pain for twenty-five years. Despite having had two ACL reconstruction surgeries, as he gets older, the pain only gets worse.
Craig met with Orthopedic surgeon Dr Mark Adickes, who examined Craig’s knee in hopes of finding the source of his pain. After performing a few tests, Dr Adickes noticed some tearing in the meniscus as well as some changes to the ACL. However, the real cause could not be determined, so further investigation was needed.
The Doctors: Meniscal Cinch Surgical Procedure
Dr Adickes came to the conclusion that Craig would need to undergo surgery in order to get rid of his chronic knee pain. We joined them in the operating room and got to see first hand how Dr Adickes repaired the tear in Craig’s lateral meniscus.
While one part of Craig’s meniscus was only slightly frayed and torn, Dr Adickes could clearly see that his lateral meniscus was completely detached. Dr Adickes performed a vertical mattress stitch to make sure that it stayed where it was supposed to, and a full repair was successfully completed.
The Doctors: Meniscal Cinch Explained
Dr Adickes joined Dr Stork in studio, while Craig joined them on the phone, still recovering from his surgery. Craig reported that he had just begun physical therapy and was feeling great. He also said that the difference between this surgery and his others was “night and day.”
Using a 3D diagram of the knee, Dr Adickes pointed out how he repaired Craig’s meniscus. Thanks to the ever-evolving technology of modern medicine, what used to be a complicated procedure (with a really, really big needle!) is now made more simple through the use of implants placed directly into the knee. Through the small scope incisions, the implants can be tightened right inside the joint.
The Doctors: Avoiding Knee Surgery
Dr Stork wanted to know, what are some things we can do to prevent needing surgery in the first place? Dr Adickes said that when many of his patients feel pain, they immediately quit whatever it is that they think is causing it, such as golf and other sports. Instead, Dr Adickes suggests staying active in ways that don’t cause pain. If you quit exercising cold turkey, atrophy can set in and make the pain much greater. You can also find a lower impact activity (such as swimming) that you enjoy just as much.