The Painful Knee

The knee joint is often damaged and becomes a cause of pain and instability. There can be a number of reasons why a once normal knee joint starts to cause pain and feel unstable.>

Some of the reasons of the painful knee joint are as follows:

  • a torn meniscal cartilage (i.e. a tear in the shock absorber cartilage)
  • a loose body or a foreign body in the knee
  • a worn surface (i.e. osteoarthritis)
  • a torn or unstable chondral flap (i.e. a fault in the surface lining of the knee)
  • An inflamed tissue (i.e. synovitis) where a native tissue can damage the knee
  • a plica (a band of tissue that can cause friction on the knee surface)

Dr. Rewat Laxman will thoroughly examine the case by performing physical examination and other investigations like X-ray images and an MRI or a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Diagnosis made early is vital to successful treatment of painful knee disorders as well as post procedure rehab. Minimally invasive procedures like keyhole surgery is only suggested to patients where it is deemed suitable and the patient will benefit by going through the procedure.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Previously, arthroscopic knee surgery was only a diagnostic procedure to visualise the inside of the knee and not done for treating the condition, however, this is not the case anymore. Nowadays, arthroscopic knee surgery is done to treat the defect wherein a small camera is placed inside the knee joint and the cause of knee pain is dealt with.

Dr. Rewat Laxman will explain the diagnosis and the intended surgery before undertaking the procedure. The duration of the procedure is around 15- 20 minutes and the patient is discharged around 3 hours later without discomfort. Patients are advised to refrain from driving for two days and can return to their usual day-to-day activities within two weeks.

This procedure is done primarily to cure the patient, so Consultant Knee Specialists including Dr Rewat Laxman choose their patients carefully for knee arthroscopy.

A Number Of Conditions Can Be Cured Using Knee Arthroscopy
  • Meniscectomy (a torn meniscus is trimmed in order to prevent catching and pain).
  • Removal of loose bodies with keyhole surgery.
  • Chondroplasty (smoothening of unstable cartilage surface lining using coblation wands with keyhole).
  • Meniscus repair when a torn meniscus can be repaired by keyhole technique
  • Removal of plica, a painful condition which is difficult to diagnose even with an MRI scan can treated successfully with keyhole surgery
  • Repair of surface cartilage defects can be done with keyhole surgery.
Knee Arthroscopy Recovery
  • Knee arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) is a very successful and relatively minor surgical procedure used to treat various defects of the knee joint.
  • Recovery after knee arthroscopy depends on the defect that is being treated and is very patient specific, for example meniscal cartilage repair, removal of loose or foreign bodies, removal of bands causing friction inside the knee, cartilage surface repairs, etc. Rehabilitation protocol also depends on the type of defect. As each defect needs a different approach, Dr. Rewat Laxman will discuss the treatment and the type of rehab required with each patient individually after surgery.
  • Immediately following surgery, which usually takes around 20-30 minutes under a short general anaesthesia, the patient is encouraged to walk and fully weight bear with the help of a Physiotherapist in most cases.
  • A Physiotherapist will examine the knee stability and teach exercises to be done at home. Many patients are free of pain when they are discharged from hospital after 4 to 6 hours post surgery.
    During the initial days post procedure, it is recommended to perform the given exercises 3-4 times a day. The exercise is aimed at keeping the knee joint mobile and aid recovery following knee surgery.
  • Dr. Rewat Laxman has worked with many leading sports and knee injury physiotherapists in London and South-East, and will recommend a reliable therapist for you.
  • In case you are already working with a sports therapist, kindly let the team at Bone and Joint Consult know their contact details before surgery so that all the correspondence can be copied to them to facilitate coordination of your inpatient and outpatient care and ensuing recovery. Your physiotherapist will then make arrangements to follow you up as an outpatient to assist your recovery following knee arthroscopy. Restriction on driving is only for about two days and the patients can resume driving after that period, although it is advisable to check the knee by performing “emergency stop” comfortably before resuming driving.
  • You can resume sporting or other activities once the knee is stable and painless, and muscular functionality has been restored. Resumption of daily activities can happen as early as two weeks after surgery depending on the condition of your knee.