Surgical interventions, including arthroscopic partial meniscectomy and loose body removal, are only recommended in osteoarthritic patients with mechanical symptoms. For patients with severe pain associated with osteoarthritis, surgical interventions such as high tibial osteotomy, total knee replacement, or partial knee arthroplasty, are often recommended. These procedures are considered end–stage surgical interventions and may be associated with complications.
If you’ve been suffering from chronic achy knees and have not responded to ibuprofen, injections, knee surgery, knee braces or physical therapy he may be a candidate for a minimally invasive solution. A procedure known as subchondroplasty treats bone defects in chronic bone marrow lesions, which is an abnormal swelling in the soft bone below the joint surface. Oftentimes patients who have bone marrow lesions suffer from pain, decreased function and cartilage destruction. The condition typically leads to severe osteoarthritis and for some patients, total knee replacement. Subchondroplasty is a much simpler and less expensive procedure which may offer the ability to extend the life of the knee by several years by supporting these areas which for whatever reason seem to be weak and causing pain.
During the procedure the surgeon uses a guide and special instrument to access the affected area which has been identified on MRI. A special bone substitute material is injected into a small incision in the knee which allows new healthy bone to repair the defect. This is typically done as an outpatient procedure and takes approximately 45 minutes or less and usually requires only a short period of rehabilitation, typically 6 weeks, as compared to 4-6 months for a knee replacement. Subchondroplasty is one of the most recent orthopaedic advancements with the hope of preserving the joint and avoiding further surgery.
Donald Hohman MD is a fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in joint replacements of the hip and knee. He completed his specialty training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of the Harvard Medical School- Boston, MA. If you have any further questions please feel free to utilize the educational material provided on the website www.GDOrtho.com or his office can be reached at 214-252-7039.