The knee joint functions as close to a hinge as any joint in the body. The femur and tibia make up the weightbearing surfaces and are covered by cartilage the keeps the joint moving smoothly. The meniscus lies in between the bones and helps cushion, lubricate and stabilize the joint. Strong ligaments keep the “hinge” from coming apart. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is the most familiar one to athletes and sports fans but is one of 4 main supports.
Knee injuries occur very commonly and can affect patients of all ages. Sports injuries include meniscus tears and ligament tears and are typically seen in young athletes. ACL injuries are an increasing problem in our young, female athletic population and often result in surgery. Cartilage damage can happen at any age and meniscus tears are the most common injury we treat. Arthritis in the knee develops as we age but can happen rarely in the young. Fortunately, most injuries can be treated arthroscopically through a minimally invasive approach.