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Your knees are amazing joints. As weight-bearing joints with a wide range of motion, they are vulnerable to injury and normal wear and tear that can cause arthritis.
At UVM Health Center – CVMC, our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons are experts in the full range of knee problems associated with sports, aging, trauma, and arthritis, offering a complete range of knee pain treatment options, from minimally invasive surgery to non-surgical techniques, where possible. They perform the same advanced specialty procedures you would typically find at a university hospital, such as knee arthroscopy to repair meniscus tears, ligament reconstruction to repair the ACL, PCL and MCL, or microfracture surgery to treat damaged cartilage.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from painful osteoarthritis in the knees, our skilled surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to remove the damaged joint and replace it with an artificial one. In qualified cases, our surgeons can perform minimally invasive knee replacements, which provide smaller incisions, less down time and pain, and a quick recovery.
Our goal is to maximize your knee joint function with diligent follow-up after surgery and a total rehabilitation program to get you back to your favorite activities as quickly as possible. We will partner with you to develop the treatment plan that works best for your condition./p>
Non-Surgical Treatments for Knee Pain
Early non-surgical treatments can help you avoid and reduce knee pain and disability. They can also slow progression of your condition.
An important first step for many patients is to modify your lifestyle. Taking steps to avoid high-impact activities can be helpful. For example:
- Switch from running or jumping exercises to swimming or cycling
- Minimize activities that aggravate the condition, such as climbing stairs
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Rest your knee from overuse
Physical Therapy and Activity
Our highly skilled physical therapists work closely with you to help increase your joint's range of motion and strengthen muscles. Physical therapy and activity can reduce your knee pain and improve its functioning. Learn more about CVMC’s Physical Therapy team.
Patients also benefit from using supportive devices such as a cane, energy-absorbing shoes or inserts, or a brace or knee sleeve, which may help relieve the stress and strain on your joints.
Additional methods may be recommended to relieve knee pain and improve functioning. These can include:
- Applying heat or ice
- Doing water exercises
- Using liniments
- Using elastic bandages
Medication can be a very effective option for treating knee pain. We offer the full range of medical therapies and the latest medicines available to treat your condition. Click here to learn more about injections available at UVM Health Network – CVMC.
Surgery for Knee Pain
When non-surgical treatments are not successful, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to treat your knee pain.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Our surgeons perform arthroscopic knee surgery - a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure - to help them see inside your joint to diagnose and treat your disorder.
The procedure works by inserting a tiny camera through a small incision. The camera provides a clear view of the inside of the knee joint. The view inside the joint is transmitted via fiber optic technology to a television monitor. Your orthopedic surgeon then inserts surgical instruments through other small incisions to perform more specific tasks, including:
- Loose Body Removal
Removing loose pieces of cartilage that float within the joint space. These pieces can become caught within the joint during movement.
- Synovial Biopsy
Taking a sample of the synovial membrane. This is the tissue that lines a joint. The biopsy can help diagnose certain disorders or infections.
- Meniscal Tear Surgery
Repairing a torn meniscus (a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the knee).
- Cartilage Tear Surgery
Repairing torn cartilage in the knee.
Knee Restoration Surgery
In some cases, your joint may be in good enough condition that it does not need to be replaced. Instead, the bones in your knee can be repositioned to reduce your pain. At UVM Medical Center, we work with you to determine whether a joint restoration method may be the right fit. These methods include:
This procedure involves cutting or realigning the bones of the knee. Goals of the procedure include:
- Shift weight from damaged cartilage area to a healthy area
- Restore knee function
- Reduce osteoarthritis pain
- Delay the need for joint replacement surgery
- Usually recommended for younger patients with early arthritis
This method helps improve your joint function by restoring damaged cartilage. We use the latest surgical techniques designed to stimulate the growth of new cartilage. These procedures can relieve pain and allow better function of your knee; they can also help delay or prevent arthritis.
OATS (Osteochondral Autograft Transfer System)
In this procedure, healthy cartilage tissue and underlying bone are transferred from a non-weight bearing part of your knee to another area. They are used as a plug to seal defects or damaged areas in the cartilage. The procedure can be done arthroscopically.
ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implant)
With this method, our surgeons remove healthy cartilage tissue from a non-weight bearing area of the knee, using arthroscopy. The healthy cartilage cells, or chondrocytes, are sent to a laboratory, to grow and multiply. Surgeons then implant these newly grown cells in the damaged area of your knee.
Knee Replacement Surgery
Minimally Invasive and Small Incision Knee Replacement Surgery
We offer the latest, minimally invasive techniques for total knee replacement. These techniques can make a big difference in your life and offer many benefits for those who qualify.
This type of surgery is most often recommended for patients who are young, healthy and motivated to have a quick recovery.
If you are experiencing knee pain, call us today at 802-225-3970 to learn more about our comprehensive knee treatments.