Knee introduction

The knee joint is probably the most commonly damaged joint in the body. This is because it has to take the full weight of the body and be very mobile. In order to do this the knee joint is made up of a complex group of tissues, all of which are subject to injury.

Fortunately knee problems are different at different ages and each particular structure usually has a specific group of symptoms.

Based on the patients story, what he finds when examining the knee and simple investigations such as an X-ray, Mr Murray is usually able to advise patients straight away what is causing their knee problem and what is the best way to get rid of that problem. Further investigations such as an MRI scan are sometimes required and these can be arranged very quickly.

Knee Arthritis

The most common cause of knee pain in adults is caused by arthritis. There are different types of arthritis but they all lead to the smooth lining on the ends of the bones wearing out.

When this smooth lining gets completely removed the ends of the bones rub on each other which causes pain and stiffness.

Knee replacement

The most effective treatment for most patients with knee arthritis is a knee replacement. This is one of the most commonly performed procedures throughout the world and has excellent long term outcomes for most patients. Knee replacement involves cutting away the worn out surfaces of the joint and replacing them with metal parts which are fixed on to the bones and a very hard wearing plastic which keeps the metal parts away from each other and allows the joint to move.

Mr Murray has been successfully replacing knees for over 15 years as a Consultant and also specialises in revising problematic knee replacements. Mr Murray will be able to advise you whether a knee replacement would be your best option as well as advising what the risks of surgery are.

Knee cartilage damage

There are two different types of cartilage in the knee. In addition to the smooth cartilage which lines the joint there are meniscal cartilages which can get damaged. When they are damaged and cause problems with joint movement removing the damaged portion will usually get rid of the pain and restore normal movement.

Not all patients with a meniscal tear need any treatment as their symptoms will settle with simple pain killers and exercises. Mr Murray will advise you whether any surgery is required and if so, what sort of surgery.

Ligament Injury

There are 4 main ligaments in the knee which help keep the knee stable. The collateral ligaments are at the sides of the knee and prevent the knee moving from side to side. Damage to these ligaments causes pain but they usually get better by themselves.

The cruciate ligaments prevent the knee from dislocating forwards or backwards. As with the collateral ligaments, injury to the cruciate ligaments will often not require any treatment other than physiotherapy.

Mr Murray is an expert at diagnosing these types of injuries and advising patients what is the best way of managing thesir symptoms. On the rare occasion where a patient may need surgery to repair or reconstruct one of their knee ligaments Mr Murray will refer them on to colleagues who regularly perform this type of surgery.

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BMI Kings Park Hospital, Polmaise Road, Stirling FK7 9PU