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Knee Pain, Knee Surgery, Knee Surgeon

Knee Pain Making Your Glory Days Feel Like Ancient History?

Does your nagging knee pain remind you of your glory days as a star athlete perhaps being queen (or king) of your rec league? If you’re like many active adults, you’ve been competing in one form or another most of your life. But if an incoming weather front makes you think more about Advil than getting the gang together for a rematch, those old sports injuries might be catching up with you.

Believe it or not this is not all bad news – remaining active at any age helps us maintain mobility, flexibility and good mental health,as long as we take a smart approach to those activities. Addressing nagging knee pain is not the huge production it used to be. Gone are the days of four-inch scars and six weeks of immobilization. Today, relief can come in many forms,from physical therapy and other non-surgical solutions, to minimally invasive procedures that can offer immense relief and get you back in the game in a matter of weeks.

For many lifelong athletes, knee pain as an adult can be the result of a previous injury like a torn ACL, meniscus or MCL. According to the Cleveland Clinic, years after the original injury was repaired “post-traumatic arthritis” can and does occur in more than 5 million people in the US. Most non-traumatic arthritis occurs in adults 60 years or older so signs of arthritis in younger adults is often tied to a previous injury.

As we age, regular wear and tear from everyday life can compound the pain making it more difficult to stay active. Swelling due to accumulation of fluid in the knee can lead to pain and is one of the most common symptoms of knee arthritis or soft tissue injury in the knee.

If you have knee pain from an old injury, relief starts by ensuring you maintain a healthy body weight and emphasizing strength training – particularly in muscles around the knee – to protect the joint. It’s also more important than ever to incorporate low-impact exercise into your routine. Great options include biking, rowing, swimming, yoga and Pilates. By keeping multiple fitness goals in mind, such as strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness, you’ll be putting your whole body in a better position to stay healthy and be active.

But if you feel like you’ve been masking the symptoms of nagging knee pain with NSAIDs like Advil or meloxicam for far too long, it might be time for a visit to your orthopedic specialist. They can help you determine if an injection of cortisone or synthetic joint fluid can ease the pain, or if you need debris like damaged cartilage or bone removed from the joint. For some, knee reconstruction or replacement might be the best option as both procedures bring very effective and lasting relief without the massive recovery time you might recall from decades ago.

Preventing future injury

While there may not be many good ways to prevent the progression of arthritis and knee pain that comes years after an injury, you can still minimize future joint pain by working hard to prevent injuries today. Remember these tips:

  • Always warm up to get your body loose and ready to work.
  • Stretch before and especially after each workout or sports activity.
  • Make smart decisions about participating in contact sports – always wear the proper gear and try to minimize hard hits.
  • Listen to your body and don’t overdo it! Even if your competitive fire is at full strength, remember that your body may not heal as quickly or completely as it did years ago.

Knee Specialists


Dr. Mark Failinger


James Ferrari, MD

Dr. James Ferrari


Wayne Gersoff, MD

Dr. Wayne Gersoff


dr harold hunt denver co

Dr. Harold Hunt


Jared Michalson, MD

Dr. Jared Michalson


H. Andrew Motz, MD

Dr. Andy Motz


Cary Motz, MD

Dr. Cary Motz


John Papilion, MD

Dr. John Papilion


Scott Resig, MD

Dr. Scott Resig


R. Presley Swann, MD

Dr. Presely Swann


meniscus surgery

A meniscus tear can stall your soccer season: when it’s time for meniscus surgery

Snow may be covering many area soccer fields right now, but whether it’s club and high school spring soccer or the adult league you’ve been looking forward to all winter, off-season conditioning and indoor sessions have given way to the first days of outdoor cuts on turf and grass. It’s this time of year that, despite smart training, we see more patients for meniscus surgery, whose hard winter work has been quickly undone by a meniscus tear.

To keep you on the field and minimize down-time, it’s important to recognize the vital difference between soreness and pain – and what the pain may be telling you. Soccer is a sport built on running, cutting and twisting moves – both offensively and defensively – and many of these actions have the potential to strain or tear a vulnerable part of your knee.

Meniscus tears can be contact or non-contact injuries that occur during quick, twisting or hard-planting movements on the weight-bearing knee. Whether you are attacking a defense or mirroring an opposing player, unfortunately, these moves place strain on the weakest element of your shock-absorbing knees, and a moderate or severe tear often requires meniscus surgery.

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear is damage to one (or both) of the c-shaped cushions that stabilize and protect your joint. The severity of the meniscus tear can vary from a minor, treatable with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to a moderate or major tear requiring meniscus surgery to repair damage to the meniscal cartilage. Meniscus tears are more common in adult athletes (30 years and older) simply because the menisci loses some of its resiliency as we age. However, severe injury can occur at any age and it’s important to recognize an injury that requires immediate care.

Common signs of a meniscus tear, and when you might need meniscus surgery

The most common signs of a meniscus tear can vary depending upon the severity and type of tear. The range of symptoms can vary from an achy nuisance type of discomfort often associated with some swelling to a popping sound that the knee meniscus cartilage makes  as the cartilage breaks free that will frequently prevent the athlete from fully extending their knee ( a locked knee). In the more acute situation, the athlete may experience a decreased range of motion and either sharp pain or the inability to stop themselves when they attempt a squat to test knee stability.

If you experience a severe knee injury or any meniscus tear symptoms, do not continue to walk on your injured leg as you risk further damage. Tell your coach, parent or trainer immediately and seek medical evaluation. The knee can be properly splinted and crutches utilized to protect the meniscus tear from further damage while you seek care. Prompt diagnosis and protection of a meniscus tear – including determining whether the tear is severe enough to require meniscus surgery – will minimize recovery time and maximize post-surgery knee function.

Is meniscus surgery right for me?

Meniscus surgery is an arthroscopic treatment to either repair or remove a meniscus tear. Because it’s minimally invasive, it’s a good treatment at many ages, allows for a fairly rapid recovery and is often the best (or only) option for a full recovery. Meniscus surgery provides the optimal way to repair the damage if possible or remove any damaged meniscal cartilage that may be causing any pain or discomfort. There are also techniques now available to either replace a segment of the meniscus or the entire meniscus if indicated. Meniscus surgery is an out-patient procedure that lasts approximately an hour. Whether you are an athlete or not, your orthopedic specialist will work with you to determine if meniscus surgery provides the best option for a positive outcome.

Recovering from meniscus surgery

Recovery time from meniscus surgery can range from three weeks to three months, depending on the severity of the meniscus tear and the procedure required to correct it. Recovery plans involve rest and rehabilitation and are tailored to the severity of the meniscus tear, each patient’s physical condition and best practices in recovery and rehabilitation. Rehab plans are designed to regain function and range of motion and to return to pre-injury levels of activity.

In sports (and life) reaction time is everything. That’s true whether it’s making a split-second decision during a game or making a decision about your injury. At Advanced Orthopedics and  Sports Medicine, we want you to be able to quickly identify meniscus tears and give you the best treatment, rehab and support to get you back in the game.  Schedule an appointment today with one of our orthopedic knee specialists to get back on your feet!

Testimonials

Alan C

Thank you Dr. Gersoff for your extraordinary courtesy on Monday, when you not only got me into your schedule immediately, but you got me into the hospital for the MRI on the same day AND then let me come back for another office exam the same day in order to explain the results of the MRI. WOW! I have never experienced such VIP treatment. Thanks! Taking the fluid off my knee really reduced the pain. I can almost walk without limping. Please tell Coach Fox I will be off “injured reserve” status by the Super Bowl.

Hailey H

Hailey wishes to give a Special Thanks to Dr. Wayne Gersoff. As she puts it, “There is none better and caring! Without his support, talent and continued follow up with physical therapy and direction, I wouldn’t have been able to play at such a high level. (Hailey – ThunderRidge Grizzly – part of CR Rugby Club has been invited to attend the All American Women’s Rugby Team Camp) They say, once you have surgery, it is never 100%. Someone left Dr. Gersoff out of the statistics. I’m 100% plus.”

Anonymous

Thanks to Dr. Gersoff, I had great results from my meniscus repair surgery. I was able to qualify and then run the Boston Marathon.