Active sports enthusiasts often face the challenge of worn out articular cartilage in major joints such as the knee and shoulder. Replacing worn articular cartilage has been and continues to be the "Holy Grail" of orthopaedics.
When I explain articular cartilage to patients in the office, I commonly refer to the smooth white coating you find on the ends of chicken bones. This is much like the cartilage that we have on the ends of our bones.
Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn underwent successful surgery Sunday and is resting comfortably. According to U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team Head Physician Dr. Bill Sterett of Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, the surgery conducted at the Vail Valley Surgery Center went well and he is optimistic for a full recovery. Read the entire article here: http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20130210/SPORTS/130219988/1078&parentprofile=1055
VAIL, CO (Feb. 10) – Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) underwent successful surgery Sunday and is resting comfortably. According to U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team Head Physician Dr. Bill Sterett of Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, the surgery conducted at the Vail Valley Surgery Center went well and he was optimistic for a full recovery.
VSO recently interviewed Dr. Cunningham on the topic of ACL tears. Here is part of that interview:
VSO: What percentage of female patients vs. male patients do you see with ACL tears? Have you noticed an increase in female patients in your office?
Knee pain is a frequent complaint among cyclists. Knee pain is usually associated with a seat position that is too high, too low, too far forward or too far backward.
Musculoskeletal conditions are among the most disabling and costly medical problems suffered by people in this country. As the U.S. population ages over the next 25 years, the number of people with musculoskeletal problems will increase because these conditions are most common in the older segments of the population.
In regards to available treatment options for meniscus tears, here are my thoughts on meniscus transplantation.
Just as we transplant solid organs (i.e. kidneys), some patients are candidates for meniscus transplants. I recently had a 28 year old man who lost most of his lateral meniscus due to a bad injury. Given his age and activity level, he underwent a lateral meniscus transplant. This should alleviate his pain and more importantly, protect his cartilage from early degradation and arthritis.
Continuing our look at meniscus tears and the available treatment options, today I will focus on arthroscopic meniscal repair:
Arthroscopic Meniscal Repair
If the meniscus tissue is torn in the peripheral 1/3 where there is blood supply, the meniscus can be repaired and preserved. Repairing the meniscus is always my preference. So called “bucket handle tears” where the meniscus tears longitudinally along the outer rim and then flips into the center of the knee like a bucket handle, are amenable to repair. The alternative to repairing these bucket handle tears is to remove 50% or more of the meniscus. Removing this amount of the meniscus, which is the “shock absorber” cartilage, is known to predispose the knee to early arthritis and this should be avoided if possible.
What does a torn meniscus feel like?
Patients can either tear their medial (inside of the knee) or lateral (outside of the knee) meniscus. Medial meniscus tears are much more common than lateral meniscus tears. Patients typically experience pain directly over the torn meniscus, as well as popping or catching. Squatting usually increases the pain. There is often minimal swelling present. A torn meniscus may not cause any pain when walking, but then can cause sharp, sudden pain with knee rotation.
Look for more posts to come on the treatment options that are available for a torn meniscus. And be sure to check out our website at www.vsortho.com for more patient information on how to treat common conditions and injuries.