Expert Knee Care & Tailored Treatments
The knee is the largest joint in the entire body. It bears the majority of your weight, which makes the bone susceptible to injury. Each year millions suffer severe knee pain in their bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. The orthopaedic specialists at the University of Chicago Medicine's Musculoskeletal Center offer comprehensive non-operative, arthroscopic and joint replacement care for patients with knee injuries and knee pain.
Understanding Knee Injuries
Every year, people experience sports injuries, arthritis, falls, vehicle collisions and more. UChicago Medicine orthopaedic and sports medicine specialists will partner with you to create a care plan to eliminate your knee pain and restore your mobility.
We encourage our patients to try self-care remedies — rest, ice, compression, elevation and over-the- counter anti-inflammatory medications — before seeking medical treatment for minor knee pain after an injury. If your pain persists after these measures, or if the injury is severe, our knee specialists can evaluate the problem and offer the best treatment options for your condition. Common causes of knee pain include:
Recover Faster, Walk Sooner
Many of our patients are up and walking within a day of surgery. We offer a multifaceted program for knee arthroplasty that includes minimally invasive surgery, specialized anesthetic techniques, multi-modal pain management and rapid-recovery physical therapy.
Non-surgical Treatment for Knee Pain
Many knee injuries can be treated through:
- Immobilization. Your doctor may recommend a brace to stabilize your knee. If you have a fractured bone, a cast or brace may hold the bones in place while they heal. You may also be given crutches to keep you from putting weight on your leg.
- Physical therapy. Specific exercises help restore function to the knee and strengthen the leg muscles.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling.
Comprehensive Surgical Services for Knee Pain
Learn more about joint replacement surgery.
Partial knee replacement for patients with isolated disease in one area of the knee. Some patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis who require partial knee replacement may be candidates for a procedure that uses robotic-arm assisted technology. This approach helps achieve a more precise knee resurfacing that targets only the arthritic portion of the knee, preserving healthy tissue and bone. Learn more about partial knee resurfacing with robotic-arm assisted technology
Total knee replacement for patients with severe arthritis involving different parts of the knee. In some cases, knee replacements are performed with robotic-arm assisted technology. This approach allows for more precise alignment of the components as well as minimizing soft tissue trauma to the knee. Knee replacement helps patients restore their quality of life. Learn more about total knee replacement with robotic-arm assisted technology.
Each knee joint has subtle differences in shape and contour, but traditional surgical instruments used to place knee implants are typically one-size-fits-all. This means that surgeons will have to spend time adapting the patient's knee to fit the new implant.
However, Visionaire technology uses MRI and x-ray images of a patient's knee to design and build surgical instruments that are customized for each patient’s unique knee anatomy. Our surgeons come to the operating room with surgical instruments engineered exclusively for the patient's knee and an implant that matches the knee's dimensions. With computer-guided precision, the knee implant is then carefully put in place. With the Custom Fit Visionaire Knee Replacement system, patients have less pain, a quicker recovery and a longer-lasting implant. And because Visionaire delivers pre-sized, pre-aligned instruments, surgery time is shortened, reducing a patient's time under anesthesia.
Knee arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera to look inside your knee. Small cuts are made to insert the camera and small surgical tools into your knee for the procedure.
- Arthroscopy may be recommended for the following knee problems:
- Torn meniscus. (Meniscus is cartilage that cushions the space between the bones in the knee.) Surgery is done to repair or remove it
- Torn or damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Torn or damaged collateral ligament
- Swollen or damaged lining of the knee joint
- Kneecap (patella) that is out of position or misaligned
- Small pieces of broken cartilage in the knee joint
- Removal of Baker's cyst, a fluid-filled swelling behind the knee
- Cartilage repair
Restoring articular cartilage can relieve pain and allow better function, including delaying or preventing the onset of arthritis. Our experts now offer several revolutionary new procedures to repair or restore damaged cartilage without the need for joint replacement surgery, because new cartilage cells are grown and then implanted in the cartilage defect.
First, healthy cartilage tissue is removed from a non-weight bearing area of the bone. Healthy cartilage cells are sent to a laboratory where they are cultured for 3-5 weeks until the new cells are implanted to restore cartilage. Using the patient’s own cells means that there is no danger of rejecting the tissue.
Minimally invasive surgery (arthroplasty) to reconstruct or replace the joints or bones in a diseased knee.
Knee Treatments & Replacements
We provide innovative and effective solutions for individuals experiencing chronic knee pain or disability as a result of: