To schedule an appointment with the best knee surgeon in Irvine, contact our office today. You can also ask us any questions you might have about the treatments that we provide for knee conditions or injuries.CT scan
If you have been experiencing knee pain for more than one week or the pain is so severe that it is affecting your ability to live your life as you normally do, it may be time to see the best knee surgeon in Irvine. Although you may be nervous about seeing a knee surgeon, your visit is the first step to finding relief for your knee pain.
What to Bring to Your Appointment
When you first meet with your knee pain surgeon, there are certain things they will need to know. Your orthopedic surgeon will need to know when the pain started and what you were doing when the pain started. It is also helpful to mention if there are any activities or movements that make the knee pain better or worse. If you are taking any medications or if you have already seen another doctor, let the surgeon know so they can prevent potential complications.
What to Expect During Your Appointment
In addition to needing to know about the medications you are currently taking and how long your knee has been hurting, expect your knee surgeon to ask questions about your medical history and the pain that you are currently experiencing. Writing down information about the pain can make your answers more accurate. If the pain is fleeting and often disappears at time, marking where the pain is with a washable marker may help when trying to show your surgeon what hurts.
You should also expect the orthopedic surgeon to give you a physical exam. The knee surgeon can often determine whether the pain is being caused by an issue with the bone, with the soft tissue surrounding your knee cap or with the fluid cavity behind the knee. The results of the physical exam will determine what type of tests the surgeon may order to get a better look at what is going on inside your knee.
Types of Tests to Expect
There are several different types of tests that may be used depending on the type of pain you are experiencing and the potential causes of the pain. If the pain appears to be caused by the bone, your surgeon may order an X-ray. The X-ray can detect small fractures in your patella, femur or tibia. Additionally, it can detect degenerative disorders such as arthritis or other degenerative joint diseases. If simple X-rays do not reveal any problems or the surgeon needs a better look at the bone, a computerized tomography scan, or CT scan, may be ordered. CT scans take multiple X-rays from different angles to create cross-sectional images of the body.
If the problem appears to be caused by your soft tissue, an ultrasound may be the way to go. Because the ultrasound provides real-time images, the knee doctor may put your knee in different positions to see what may be going on in your soft tissues. A magnetic resonance imaging test, or MRI, may also be used to get some 3-D images of your ligaments, cartilage and other soft tissues.
In some cases, knee pain can be caused by infections or even gout. The surgeon may order a blood test to rule out infections. If the problem potentially lies in the fluid cavity, the surgeon may recommend an arthrocentesis. During this procedure, a small amount of the fluid from your knee joint may be removed and sent to the lab for analysis.
Regardless of the tests that are need, your doctor will explain to you the reason for each test and what your medical team is looking for during the process.
When You Need Surgery
The most common type of knee surgery that is performed by an orthopedic surgeon is an arthroscopy. Arthroscopic surgery involves creating a small incision in the knee. A tiny camera is then inserted directly into the joint so the surgeon can see what they are doing. The knee surgeon can potentially remove small portions of the meniscus to relieve pain, provide repairs for the meniscus and reconstruct a torn ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. Other procedures that add stability to the knee joint may also be completed.
If the joint has been completely destroyed and you opt for a partial or complete knee replacement, you will also need to undergo surgery. This type of procedure is more invasive and will require rehabilitation. Your surgeon will help you determine what type of surgery you may need for pain relief.
Your doctor will tell you what you can expect from your surgery and the recovery process, and will also give you instructions to follow before and after the surgery in order to minimize your risk of complications and to see the best possible results.
Working with Your Knee Surgeon after the Surgery
After you undergo any type of knee procedure, you will want to continue working with your knee doctor for the best chance of becoming pain free. Always take your medications as instructed. If the surgeon tells you to stay off the joint, stay off the joint to prevent further injury. It is likely that you will have several follow-up appointments to ensure that everything is healing properly. Do not miss these appointments as you can experience some setbacks in your recovery.
Finally, your Irvine knee surgeon will probably recommend that you go to physical therapy to strengthen your knee joint and prevent pain and other problems in the future. Make sure that you monitor any changes to your knee or to incision site. If you do notice any changes at all, contact your knee surgeon and schedule an additional appointment as soon as possible to determine next steps.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with the best knee surgeon in Irvine today so that you can enjoy pain free mobility.