NOI physicians have experience in many areas of orthopedic care. If you are not sure whom you need to see we recommend calling our office and speaking with one of our patient specialists who can help you to identify the right physician. Contact us today.
Dr. Alan Beyer currently restricts his practice to the diagnosis and treatment of knee problems.
- Arthroscopic Surgery of the Knee
- Total Knee Replacement
- Knee injuries
Arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure in which a joint (arthro-) is viewed (-scopy) using a small camera. The entire surgery is done through small incisions. During the procedure, Dr. Beyer inserts the arthroscope (a small camera instrument about the size of a pencil) into your knee joint. The arthroscope sends the image to a television monitor. On the monitor, your surgeon can see the structures of the knee in great detail.
Dr. Beyer uses arthroscipic surgery for the repair of most ligament and cartilage knee injuries. Most all arthroscopic surgery is performed on an out-patient basis and does not require a hospital stay. Patients generally go home 1-2 hours after surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is often associated with reduced recovery time and an increase in the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissues.
Technical advances have led to high definition monitors and high resolution cameras. These and other improvements have made arthroscopy a very effective tool for treating knee problems. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.
Total and Partial Knee Replacement
When medications, physical therapy and other conservative methods of treatment no longer relieve pain, total knee replacement surgery may be considered. Dr. Beyer will help you decide if the pain and loss of movement is severe enough that you should undergo the procedure. A total knee replacement will replace your arthritic knee with total knee implants, which have been shown to provide long-term relief.
In general, 90-95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of their total knee replacement, 95% of the knee replacements are still in use after 10-15 years.
In a total knee replacement, the diseased surfaces of the bones are replaced with implants called prostheses. The femoral (thigh) component is made of metal and covers the end of the thigh bone. The tibial (shin bone) component is made up of both metal and polyethylene parts that cover the top of the tibia. The metal forms the base of this component, while the polyethylene is attached to the top of the metal. That polyethylene “insert” serves as a cushion – a smooth gliding surface between the two metal components. The third component, the patella or kneecap, may be all polyethylene or a combination of metal and polyethylene.
The the total knee replacement is inserted through an incision and the the new components are stabilized by your ligaments and muscles, just as they are in your natural knee.
Partial Knee Replacement
In some patients, the arthritis in the knee may be confined to specific compartments of the knee and is not throughout the entire knee. For these patients who meet the criteria a Partial Knee Replacement, also known as a Uni-Compartmental Knee Replacement or Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement, may be appropriate. If the arthritis is widespread throughout the knee, the Partial Knee Replacement is not appropriate. Some benefits associated with Partial Knee Replacements include a smaller incision, less blood loss, and a shorter recovery time. After an exam and some diagnostic testing, Dr. Beyer will determine if you are a candidate for Partial Knee Replacement.
Treatment options following any knee injury and damage to cartilage are individualized for each patient depending on age, activity level, and the presence of absence of injury to other components of the knee.
Dr. Beyer will perform an overall physical exam and review of medical history to determine the best treatment plan for you and your injury specifically. He may utilize some of the following diagnostic tests to diagnose the condition and severity: X-Ray, Ultrasound, CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) Scan, Bone Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan.
Conservative (Non-Surgical Treatment) for knee injuries can be different for each patients, but will generally include the following:
– Activity Modification
– Physicial Therapy
– The use of a Brace and/or Crutches
If your injury is severe, or non-responsive to conservative treatment, surgery my be necessary.
Arthritis of the Knee
In its early stages, treatment of arthritis of the knee focuses on conservative, nonsurgical measures. Lifestyle modifications may be recommended, including losing weight, switching from running or jumping exercises to swimming or cycling, and minimizing activities such as climbing stairs that aggravate the condition. A program of special exercises can help increase range of motion and flexibility as well as help strengthen the muscles in the leg. Using supportive devices such as a cane, wearing energy-absorbing shoes or inserts, or wearing a brace or knee sleeve also can be helpful. Other measures may include applications of heat or ice, water exercises, liniments or elastic bandages.
Several types of drugs can be used in treating arthritis of the knee. Because every patient is different, and because not all people respond in the same way to medications, your orthopedic surgeon will develop a program for your specific condition. He may suggest anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling in the joint; Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements to relieve the pain; and Corticosteroids, which are inflammatory agents that can be injected into the joint. Another option is Viscosupplementation therapy which consists of a one or a series of three injections designed to change the character of the joint fluid. The use of PRP Injections and stem cell therapy are also new, emerging technologies.
If your arthritis does not respond to these nonoperative treatments, you may need surgery.