More than two million people in the U.S. suffer from cartilage problems every year. This can be because of an injury or it may develop gradually without trauma. Either way, it’s likely to cause you pain that keeps you from doing what you want to do.
At Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, we offer a full range of state-of-the-art treatment options for your knee and knee cartilage injuries - including the latest in minimally invasive and arthroscopic procedures. In some cases, not only will these procedures resolve your pain and restore function, they may also delay the progression of arthritis.
For more information about cartilage restoration, visit our Cartilage Restoration Center.
Personalized Knee Replacements
Patient-specific surgery for both full and partial knee replacements - using new technology from ConforMIS - take traditional knee replacement to another level.
This cutting-edge technology uses your specific measurements, determined through a CT scan and specialized computer software, to build and print your implant based on your individual needs. This ultimately leads to a more natural feeling, high-performance knee replacement.
Personalized implants offer unique advantages versus traditional knee replacement surgery, including:
Your knee has the difficult task of transferring the weight of your body, while at the same time having the freedom to allow rapid change of direction and speed. In addition to bending, the knee also rotates and slides. This can mean, that with certain activities, the knee is subjected to almost ten times the weight of your body.
The Knee Joint
Your knee joint is made up of three bones, two different types of cartilage, and four major ligaments.
The three bones in your knee are:
Femur (thigh bone): At the knee joint there are two separate prominences called condyles. The inner prominence is called the medial femoral condyle (MFC). The outer prominence is the lateral femoral condyle (LFC).
Tibia (shin bone): The top of the tibia is called the tibial plateau. Each side is slightly cup shaped to provide an area for the femoral condyles to fit into. These are the medial and lateral tibial plateaus.
Patella (knee cap): The patella rides in a shallow groove over the front part of the femur called the trochlea.The ends of these bones inside the joint are covered by articular cartilage.
Articular cartilage is a firm glistening white substance made up of collagen and special sponge-like molecules called proteoglycans. The articular cartilage is maintained by living cartilage cells called chondrocytes. With normal joint fluid, the surface is more slippery than water or ice. This allows the knee joint to move smoothly with very little friction.
Meniscal cartilage is the other type of cartilage in the knee. These C-shaped pads are located between the thigh bone (femoral condyles) and shin bone (tibial plateaus). There is one meniscus on each side of the knee.
The medial meniscus is on the inner thigh aspect and lateral meniscus is on the outer side. These menisci are attached to the tibial plateaus. They serve as shock absorbers for the articular cartilage and transfer joint force. They accomplish this by distributing joint forces over a larger area of the joint, transferring force from the curved femoral condyles to the flatter tibial plateaus.
Injury to either type of cartilage can upset the normal loading of your knee joint. This “injury” is not limited to trauma. It can happen with normal daily activities. Once the delicate balance of the knee is upset, the resulting abnormal loads then lead to “overload damage.” Over time, initially small defects in the articular cartilage, or tears in the meniscal cartilage can progress. This gradual deterioration can lead to degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis.
Ligaments are rope-like structures that connect two bones. There are four main ligaments in your knee: Two inner cruciate (cross) and two outer collateral (side) ligaments. The main function of the knee ligaments is to stabilize the knee joint and protect the articular cartilage and menisci from injury.
Common Knee Problems
For more information, please call (603) 742-2007.
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