Arthropathies (knees)

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Arthropathies (knees)

The most common arthropathies of the knee are

  • meniscal injuries, which may be the result of degeneration or trauma. Typical symptoms include pain when in a squatting position or sitting cross-legged, when climbing stairs and of course when the limb is strained (normal exertion or during sports). In addition to the clinical examination, and MRI scan is necessary for the proper diagnosis. Treatments include conservative therapies as well as arthroscopy involving (partial) meniscus removal, repair, and transplantation.

Other knee arthropathies include

  • ligament injuries, usually trauma-related (e.g. ski injuries). While isolated injuries of the interior/exterior ligaments or tears of the posterior cruciate ligament can usually be treated conservatively, i.e., without surgery, the anterior cruciate ligament is now usually replaced arthroscopically using endogenous transplants, e.g. of the semitendinosus or patellar tendon. Patients require extensive physiotherapy before and after the operation.

Another cause of knee joint conditions may be

  • cartilage damage, either degenerative or trauma-related. Depending on the extent and severity of the cartilage damage, conservative (see above) or surgical therapy methods may be indicated. The latter include arthroscopic refixation of the (fractured) cartilage as well as cartilage transplantation.

If the cartilage damage is strongly pronounced, the term

  • osteoarthritis is used. In cases where only the interior or exterior knee joint is affected and the leg axis is malaligned (knock knees or bowlegs), a leg axis alignment (osteotomy) may render good results. If an alignment of the leg axis is not possible, an artificial knee joint (sled prosthesis) may be implanted in one leg. In cases where the entire knee joint is afflicted, a total endoprosthesis (hip replacement) may be indicated.

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