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When Is Knee Surgery Necessary?

Knee injuries are fairly common across the general population, and they’re especially common among certain groups such as athletes and seniors. While most knee injuries resolve themselves over time, more serious ones don’t heal on their own. For these, knee surgery may be necessary.

Signs Knee Surgery Might Be Needed

Whether a knee injury requires surgery must be confirmed with a medical assessment and diagnostic procedures. There are some broad signs and symptoms that may suggest surgery is needed, however. If a knee injury results in any of the following, surgery should at least be considered:

  • Excruciating pain that’s unable to be mitigated with prescription medication
  • An audible “pop” during the injury (which can be a sign of ligament tear)
  • Failure to heal with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE)

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, an orthopedist at Prime Surgical Suites can perform the assessment and diagnostics that are needed to confirm whether surgery is appropriate for your injury. Our surgeons can make a sound assessment during a consultation, and perform all of the scans and X-rays necessary to confirm their suspicions or provide additional clarity on the injury.

With our surgeon’s expertise and our diagnostic tools, you can confidently know whether a particular knee injury should be operated on.


Common Injuries That Requires Knee Surgery

The knees can sustain many different injuries that may require surgery. The following are a few of the more common injuries that usually won’t resolve on their own and instead must be operated on:

  • Osteoarthritis, which is a degeneration of a joint’s cartilage that normally worsens with age
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that results in the immune system attacking joints
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis, which is a wearing out of a joint’s cartilage after a physical injury to the joint
  • Osteochondral Injury, which is an injury of varying degrees to the smooth surface on the end of bones
  • Microfracture, which is a series of tiny fractures that form when force is applied to a bone
  • ACL Tear, which is a partial or full tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee<
  • Meniscus Tear, which is a partial or full tear of the meniscus in the knee


What is Outpatient Knee Surgery Like?

While many of these knee injuries commonly require surgery, they often can be addressed through outpatient surgery. When it’s an available option, outpatient surgery is the most convenient way to undergo an operation. Outpatient surgery requires no overnight stay in a hospital, and many outpatient procedures can even be performed outside of an actual hospital setting.

Going for outpatient surgery is a lot like simply going to a regular doctor’s office visit, although the visit itself admittedly involves a little bit more. Once you arrive, you’ll complete the intake paperwork and review the scheduled procedure. When it’s time for the procedure, you’ll be given anaesthesia (assuming you’re having surgery) and the surgeon will complete the operation. You’ll eventually wake up from the anaesthesia and receive discharge instructions for recovery. The final difference from a standard doctor's office visit is that you may need someone else to drive you home since anaesthesia was administered.

At Prime Surgical Suites, our surgeons can offer a wide array of knee operations as outpatient procedures. We can even perform full knee replacements without an overnight stay thanks to our state-of-the-art NAVIO robotic surgical system.


Explore Surgery for Your Knee Injury

If you’ve sustained a significant knee injury that’s painful or not healing quickly, schedule a free consultation with one of the orthopedic surgeons at Prime Surgical Suites. Our team will give you an accurate diagnosis for your specific injury, and we can recommend the best course of treatment whether that’s surgery or something else. The sooner we see you, the faster we can begin helping your knee become well.


At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.

Tags: Knee