Common causes of knee pain and loss of knee function

event 29.08.2017.

The most frequent cause of loss of function and pain is arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis are the most common forms.

OSTEOARTHRITIS most often occurs after the age of 50. The cartilage that lines the joints is gradually damaged (excessive load, frequent injuries, multiple surgeries, etc.), and bones that touch each other cause pain.

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS is a disease in which the changed synovial sheath grows excessively, moves to the joint surface and in this way can damage the cartilage and cause it to wear down and disappear, leading to pain and reduced function.

TRAUMATIC ARTHRITIS usually follows a severe knee injury. Fracture of several bone segments or ligaments can damage the joint with progressive accelerated degeneration.

At Aksis Special Hospital Orthopedics, we follow the most modern world achievements in the installation of all types of joint endoprostheses, including the knee joint, and the operations are performed by a recognized orthopedist and traumatologist, Prim. Dr. Mladen Miškulin, PhD.

Through a clinical examination and an examination of X-ray documentation, he will get an insight into which part of the knee is affected by the arthrosis process, and thus also which part of the knee needs to be replaced.

The latest operative methods that we apply allow replacing only one part of the knee with a partial prosthesis (inner or outer part and the patellofemoral joint) or, in case of major damage, a total knee endoprosthesis.

Most of our patients are between the ages of 50 and 80, but we also successfully perform procedures on much younger patients if there is an indication for it. Indications are severe traumatic changes after a fracture in the knee area or a systemic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. At the same time, the decision to install a total knee endoprosthesis is influenced by our patients’ ability to lead a normal life, not their age.

We perform operations using minimally invasive approaches (MIS) through small incisions with maximum tissue sparing in the knee area.

In planning the procedure, we use the so-called conventional navigation where, with the help of special X-ray examinations, we can plan the best surgical procedure and the most suitable implant for our patients, both through the design of the prosthesis and through the installation of implants from renowned global manufacturers. With this, we made a significant step towards the longevity of such a “replaced” knee.

At Aksis Special Hospital Orthopedics, we also take into account the type of anesthesia we apply during operations – in most cases, we perform procedures under mild unilateral spinal anesthesia, which “numbs” only the leg being operated on, which reduces the possibility of potential complications from other types of anesthesia.

The operation lasts about an hour and a half, and the rehabilitation process begins immediately after leaving the operating room, with passive rehabilitation. With minimally invasive approaches, our patients feel significantly less postoperative pain than patients operated with conventional methods, which allows them to get out of the patient’s bed on the first postoperative day and start walking with aids and active and passive kinesitherapy with our physiotherapists.

The hospital stay is also shortened and lasts 3 to 4 days, and our goal is that even in that short time our patients achieve the greatest possible range of motion in the operated knee. As the prosthesis that we implant enables mobility in the knee similar to or the same as a normal knee (flexion over 130°), we encourage our patients to achieve it independently.

We also encourage our patients to immediately start walking normally with full weight and to discard the crutches completely within 10 to 5 days, which accelerates the recovery of muscle strength and mass and greater safety in walking and movement. At the same time, we instruct them which activities are possible and which are not after the operations performed in this way.