On your first appointment with your Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine physician, you'll be asked to describe your knee pain in detail: when it started, how severe it is, how often it occurs, which activities make it worse or better, etc. Your physician will then perform a thorough physical examination, which will include checking for tenderness or swelling, bending and straightening the knee, and rotating the lower leg. You'll probably also have an X-ray performed on the knee.
The physicians at Houston Methodist treat a wide range of knee conditions, including:
» Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
» Articular Cartilage Problems of the Knee
» Artificial Joint Replacement of the Knee
» Chondromalacia Patella
» Collateral Ligament Injuries
» Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
» Hamstring Injuries
» Hamstring Tendon Graft Reconstruction of the ACL
» Iliotibial Band Syndrome
» Knee Anatomy
» Knee Arthroscopy
» Meniscal Injuries
» Meniscal Surgery
» Osteoarthritis of the Knee
» Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee
» Patellar Tendon Graft Reconstruction of the ACL
» Patellar Tendonitis
» Patellofemoral Problems
» Pes Anserine Bursitis of the Knee
» Plica Syndrome
» Popliteal Cysts
» Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
» Prepatellar Bursitis
» Quadriceps Tendonitis
» Revision Arthroplasty of the Knee
» Tibial Osteotomy
» Unicompartmental Knee Replacement
» Viscosupplementation for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Your Houston Methodist physician will work with you to develop a course of treatment. If you have a minor injury, you may only need "R.I.C.E." therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) plus a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin or ibuprofen to control swelling and alleviate pain.
If you have early-stage arthritis, your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications (such as losing weight or switching from high-impact to lower-impact exercise), physical therapy, or supportive devices such as a brace or energy-absorbing shoe inserts.
If nonsurgical approaches don't relieve your knee pain, your physician may recommend one of the following surgical treatments.
- Knee arthroscopy: The surgeon makes a few tiny incisions and sends in a small camera (arthroscope) to transmit pictures from inside the knee to a television screen. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to repair torn cartilage, clear out debris, and repair other problems.
- Knee joint replacement (arthroplasty): The surgeon replaces the damaged knee with an artificial joint (prosthesis).
- Osteotomy: The surgeon removes a small wedge of bone to improve the alignment of the knee joint.
The length of your recovery period and the limitations involved will vary depending on the surgery performed. After arthroscopic surgery, patients can return home the same day and may return to normal activities within a week. For example, after an arthroscopic meniscus surgery, most patients are off crutches in one or two days and back at work the following week.
Other surgeries can involve longer recovery periods. If you've had a knee replacement (arthroplasty), you'll probably stay in the hospital for two or three days and be able to drive and return to work in six to eight weeks. Most patients notice a gradual improvement and increase in their endurance over the six to 12 months following surgery. Your physician and therapist will probably recommend avoiding any activities that cause stress to the knee. Some patients, for example, switch from running to swimming, which you can begin as soon as the incisions heal.
Texas Medical Center
David Braunreiter, M.D. (primary care)
D. Dean Dominy, III, M.D.
Carl A. Hicks, M.D.
Jeffrey A. Kozak, D.O.
Mark Maffet, M.D.*
Eddie T. Matsu, M.D.
Vincent C. Phan, M.D.
Kenneth M. Renney, M.D. (primary care)
Timothy C. Sitter, M.D.*
Christopher K. Smith, M.D.
Ray R. Valdez, M.D.
Physicians marked with an asterisk (*) are fellowship-trained in the field of knee surgery.