Knee Anatomy 101

Knee replacement has become a relatively commonplace procedure — last year in the U.S. over 700,000 people had knee replacement. Those numbers are expected to continue to grow as more and more baby boomers move into their mid to upper 60s and above. Estimates place knee replacements in the U.S. at 3.5 million by 2030. 

That’s a whole lotta titanium and Teflon replacing bone and cartilage. 

Dr. Moore is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who has been serving our patients at Pinehurst Surgical for over two decades, and he has helped many people overcome their chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis through outpatient and inpatient knee replacement. 

But what do we all really know about our knees anyway? We know they allow us to make all sorts of complex movements, from running in a softball game to springing up to grab a rebound on a basketball court. But what makes up our knees? Let’s get into that in this autumnal blog for Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement. 

Let’s call it Knee 101. 

The largest joint in the body 

Working like a hinge, our knee is the largest joint in the human body. It’s the junction of the bones of the upper and lower legs. The knee consists of three bones: the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), and the patella (the kneecap). 

The ends of the bones are covered with a layer of cartilage, a slick, elastic material that absorbs shock and allows the bones to glide easily against one another as they move. Between the tibia and femur bones are two crescent-shaped pads of cartilage that reduce friction and disperse the weight of the body across the joint. They are the lateral meniscus (situated at the outside of the knee) and the medial meniscus (situated on the inside of the knee). 

The bones of the knee are held together in a joint capsule, which consists of two distinct layers — an outer layer of dense connective tissue and an inner membrane, called the synovium, which secretes a fluid to lubricate the joint. 

The outer layer of the capsule is attached to the ends of the bones and is supported by these ligaments and tendons: 

  •     Quadriceps tendon, which attaches the quadriceps to the patella
  •     Medial collateral ligament (MCL), which gives stability to the inner part of the knee
  •     Lateral collateral ligament (LCL), which stabilizes the outer part of the knee
  •     Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is located in the center of the knee and prevents excessive forward movement of the tibia
  •     Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which is located in the center of the knee and prevents excessive backward shifting of the knee

Two groups of muscles support the knee: the hamstrings on the back of the thigh, which run from the hip to just below the knee and work to bend the knee; and the quadriceps, four muscles on the front of the thigh that run from the hip to the knee and straighten the knee from a bent position. 

Now you’re a knee expert. There’ll be a pop quiz later! So how does your knee feel? If it’s causing you chronic pain, it’s time to give us a call at Pinehurst Surgical, (910) 295-0224, and let’s see how Dr. Moore and our entire team can help.

What expectations can I have with total knee replacement?

Last month we talked about how the prevalence of joint replacement is increasing in the U.S. population. Last year in the U.S. alone, over 700,000 people received new artificial knees.

But when patients meet with Dr. Moore talking about their chronic pain and what they hope to gain with knee replacement, they often don’t know what they can expect from the procedure. What will they be able to do moving forward, for instance?

Let’s get into that in April.

Expectations for your surgery and your new knee

As a patient moves forward toward having knee replacement, Dr. Moore wants his patients to have realistic expectations for these replacements. The human knee is a miracle machine of both function and durability. While today’s artificial replacements are excellent, they still have some limitations.

Over 90 percent of people who have total knee replacement report a dramatic decrease in pain and a significant increase in the ability to perform common activities such as walking. But your artificial knee won’t make your knee superhuman.

With normal use and activity, every knee replacement implant begins to wear in the plastic spacer. Not respecting your new knee speeds up this wear. Placing too much impact or gaining lots of weight can cause the knee replacement to loosen and become painful. That’s why the high-impact sports and activities need to be replaced by low-impact or no impact exercises and activities.

But when patients follow their rehabilitation guidelines and do the necessary work on their part the vast majority of our Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic knee replacement patients are quite happy with their new knee.

What kinds of activities can I do after I have a knee replacement?

Our knee replacement patients from across the Carolinas are excited by the feeling of freedom after having this surgery. That’s because their knee pain was causing them to have to miss out on more and more activities such as hiking or even walking around the block.

You’ll be walking at just 1 to 3 weeks, but you’ll use a walker. From there you’ll move to crutches, and then a cane. In 4-8 weeks, you should be walking without support.

Many Carolinians equate “activities” with sports. Here are some dos and don’ts moving forward. Again, Dr. Moore stresses these guidelines toward the goal of the longest duration for your new knee.

  • Swimming, cycling, and golf can resume after the surgical wound is healed.
  • Jogging, basketball, and volleyball are likely out, as they put pressure on your new knee and will cause it to wear out more quickly.
  • Tennis should probably change to doubles only, and at a relaxed pace. Or consider switching to pickleball.
  • Downhill skiing, skating, and sports where there is a risk of falling can be resumed, but the patient should have been proficient prior to their surgery, and you need to understand the risks.

Do you have chronic knee pain that’s impeding your life? Call Dr. Moore at Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement, (910) 295-0224, to schedule a consultation.

Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery

Whether you’re trying to put off your knee replacement surgery until you meet your deductible, or you simply can’t take the time off, are there alternatives to knee replacement surgery? While the damage to your knee may something you can live with for some time, eventually, knee replacement surgery will become necessary to prevent you from losing too much mobility in your leg. Until then, we can help you manage the pain and discomfort until you are ready for surgery.

Preventing Aggravation to Your Knee

One of the best ways to minimize your knee pain is to stay off your knee as much as possible. You’ll need to avoid the activities that stress your knee the most, whether it’s racquetball or biking. You can replace your activity with something more congenial to your knee joints, like swimming, because it is still going to be important that you exercise and maintain your health.

Managing Pain

We can help you manage your pain in a variety of ways. Icing and heating the knee can help reduce swelling and stiffness. NSAIDs like ibuprofen can also help to keep your pain and swelling to a minimum to reduce the level of discomfort you experience. If those therapies don’t work, we can give you a steroid injection. You may also benefit from visco-supplementation (a series of injections to the knee joint). Between treating the pain and preventing aggravation to your knee that further exacerbates the old damage, we can extend the time you have left before you are forced to have knee replacement surgery.

When Is It Time for Knee Replacement Surgery?

For many of our patients, the final determinant of when to have knee replacement surgery is a decision based on how much pain you are in and how much you can tolerate. It also depends on your mobility. When your quality of life is more impacted by not having surgery, it’s time to have the surgery.

For More information about Knee Replacement Surgery with Dr. Moore, contact our Pinehurst, NC office, call us at (910) 295-0224, or check out our orthopaedic surgery blog.

How to Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery

The knee is a joint that takes a lot of brutal punishment over the course of a person’s life. It doesn’t matter what activity you’re doing – walking, running, biking, tennis, football, soccer, weightlifting – they all depend on your knees. So how do you avoid damaging your knees enough that you require knee replacement surgery?

What Is Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure performed to relieve the knee pain caused by injury, age, or arthritis in the knee.  Here at our Pinehurst, NC surgical center, Dr. John Moore uses a metal-on-plastic artificial knee joint to replace the hinged joint of the knee. While you may not be able to prevent age-related deterioration of the cartilage or arthritis, you may be able to prevent knee replacement surgery from athletic injury and prolong the life of your knee joints through practicing good joint health.

The Key to Healthy Joints Is Exercise

It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you move, the better it is for your joints. Exercise not only keeps you flexible and keeps the tendons and muscles that support your joints in shape, but it helps to keep your weight at a healthy level. Carrying extra pounds makes your knee joints work that much harder.

Protect Your Joints with the Right Gear

Knee pads and knee braces should be worn when needed, whether they’re part of your sports gear or just a precaution. Biking, inline skating, and other activities may not require the gear, but a single accident can injure your knee sufficiently to require knee replacement surgery.

Stretch and Strengthen

Stretching is important, but if you do it at the wrong time, you put your joints at risk. Warm up first and loosen up your muscles with a walk or a 10-minute jog – then stretch. Work on strengthening your core, your leg muscles, and increasing your range of motion.

You may not be able to prevent the need for knee replacement surgery, but you can give your knees their best chance by incorporating these healthy joint habits. For More information about Knee Replacement Surgery with Dr. Moore, contact our Pinehurst, NC office, call us at (910) 295-0224, or check out our orthopaedic surgery blog.

How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a common joint replacement surgery that can increase your ability to remain active and improve your quality of life. If you’ve been living with knee pain or have needed knee replacement surgery but have been nervous to proceed, you can stop living in pain. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. John R. Moore and his staff offer relief from the pain with total knee replacement surgery at their surgical center in Pinehurst, NC.

How Is Knee Replacement Surgery Performed?

During your knee replacement surgery, Dr. John Moore will replace the hinged joint of the knee with an artificial knee joint. The surgery will only last about an hour. Recovery time, including physical therapy to build up strength in the leg and range of motion, usually takes about three months.

Before Your Surgery

Before your surgery, you will need to see your primary care physical to review your medical state and ensure you are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. You may be asked to stop taking medications and supplements up to a week before the surgery, especially supplements like fish oil, vitamins, iron tablets, and calcium supplements as well as anti-inflammatory medications and NSAIDs. You will be asked to attend a patient information class a few days before your surgery to help you prepare.

The Day of Your Knee Replacement Surgery

Most knee replacement surgeries are outpatient procedures, so you will go home after you are sufficiently recovered. This means you do need someone to come with you for the surgical procedure who can drive you home. While the surgery itself only lasts about an hour, you will be in the operating room, pre-op, and recovery room for several hours. Your doctor will work with you to develop a pain management plan that limits or avoids the use of opioids.

After Surgery

In the days after your total knee replacement surgery, you will see a physical therapist the day of your surgery or the next morning in order to develop a therapy plan to regain your mobility and flexibility as quickly as possible. Complying with the therapists recommended exercises is vital. It won’t be long until you are up and moving again and back to your regular activities.

For More information about Knee Replacement Surgery with Dr. Moore, contact our Pinehurst, NC office, call us at (910) 295-0224, or check out our orthopaedic surgery blog.

Knee Surgery Pinehurst, NC

How to Avoid A Ski Injury This Winter

Tis the season for all things snow. If you are a big snow enthusiast then you may have more than a few ski trips planned. However if you have had a prior knee injury, then you know just how scary skiing and other snow sports can be. To help you avoid getting an injury while you’re on the slopes, Dr. John Moore has created a list of things for you to do.

Wrap It

One of the easiest ways to get an injury while you’re skiing is to lose stability. To help you keep your knee protected, try wrapping it before you head out on the slopes. This extra added support will help keep your knee in place while you’re downhill skiing.

Ice Afterwards

If you notice that your knee is feeling a little bit sore and tender after you spend the day skiing, try to ice it as soon as you get home. Ice is one of the easiest ways for you to get rid of swelling without having to take any medication. To ice your knees, put some soft ice packs over your knees and then bandage them over the top so that they don’t move.

Wear the Right Size of Ski Boots

Whether you are planning on using old ski boots or if you are renting ski boots, make sure that they fit your feet well. Boots that are either too large or to small may cause you to trip and get either a foot, ankle, or knee injury.

If you have recently had knee surgery and you are getting ready to go skiing, make sure that you use these tips so that you avoid getting an injury. To learn more about other ways for you to protect yourself and your joints, contact our Pinehurst office today at 910.295.0224.

Osteoarthritis Pinehurst, NC

Pain in the Knee: What May Be Causing Your Knee Pain

When it comes to joint pain, nothing is quite as common as patients who feel it most in their knees. Even though your knee pain may have felt like it came out of nowhere, there are three common culprits that may be causing it. Let’s take a closer look at them to see if you fit into one of these categories.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee

If you are over the age of 50 and are experiencing knee pain, then it may be due to a condition called osteoarthritis of the knee. Because osteoarthritis is slow developing, you may have had it for years without ever knowing about it. This degenerative form of arthritis usually occurs when the knee cartilage wears away at the joint space between the bones of the knee. In extreme instances, it may result in bone on bone joint pain.

Avascular Necrosis

This condition is usually caused after some sort of trauma or accident in which the bone loses blood supply. Because bones are living tissues, if their blood supply is interrupted, the bone will begin to die and collapse if left untreated. As you can imagine, this process will lead to some knee pain.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

We see this form of arthritis in joints all across the body including knees, shoulder, elbows, and hips, but it can also occur in your knees. Post-traumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis but rather than it being caused by age, it’s usually caused by injury or another form of trauma.

These are just three of the common culprits of knee pain, but it can be caused by many different factors as well. If you suffer from knee pain, let Dr. John Moore help you find some relief. Schedule your consultation at our Pinehurst office today and call us at 910.295.0224.

Knee Replacement Pinehurst, NC

2 Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries and What You Need to Know

Finding out you need a knee replacement is probably the last thing you want to hear, but it’s probably something that’s been a long time coming. In fact, it’s very rare that a knee replacement is spontaneous because it’s usually the result of years of pain, injury, and a variety of treatments. If Dr. John Moore has recently told you that you need a knee replacement, you probably have more than a dozen questions circulating this process including what types of knee replacement you will need. To help you feel a little bit more informed, let’s take a closer look at two types of knee replacements that we offer at Dr. John Moore’s office.

Revision Knee Replacement

In some instances, if a previous knee replacement has failed, then Dr. John Moore may recommend a surgery called a revision knee replacement. During this procedure, Dr. John Moore will replace any failed components from the original surgery with more modern implants.

Total Knee Replacement

This is the most common type of knee replacement. During this surgical procedure, the end cap of the femur is removed and replaced by a metal shell that’s made up of chromium, cobalt, or titanium. Additionally, the upper-end cap of the tibia can also be replaced by a material made from plastic or a high-density polyethylene that is attached to the bone by a metal plate. This process creates a knee that is made up of metal-on-plastic and helps act as your natural knee joint. During this surgery, Dr. John Moore may also replace a portion of the patella that slides on the femur.

Knee replacement surgeries are not of the most common types of orthopedic surgeries that we perform here at Dr. John Moore office. Although finding out that you have to undergo this type of surgery isn’t exactly good news, the outcome will be. Are you ready to take steps to learn more about this type of surgical procedure? Schedule your consultation with Dr. John Moore at 910.295.0224.

Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery Pinehurst NC

FAQ’s About Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery

Going into a knee or hip replacement surgery can make patients feel like they’re walking into a spook alley— completely unaware and unsure of what to expect behind every corner. However, Dr. John Moore wants all of his patients to feel confident and informed before they go into surgery which is why we have created this brief list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Will I go Home After Surgery?

90% of Dr. John Moore’s patients are sent home rather than to a rehab facility after surgery. If you are in a nursing facility before surgery, however, you will be sent back to the same place.

Is Physical Therapy Required After Surgery?

Yes. Our staff will arrange for a physical therapist to come to your home to help you with some strengthening and other exercises. After a few sessions, you should be able to practice these exercises on your own without the assistance of a PT.

How Long Will I Be At the Hospital For?

Because knee and hip replacement surgeries are inpatient surgeries, they will require you to spend an average of two nights in the hospital. Some patients will need an additional night stay depending on a few factors.

Will I Need Special Equipment While In Recovery?

Dr. John Moore and his staff will arrange for the delivery and setup of special equipment required for recovery. For instance, patients will need a walker and an elevated toilet seat with handles. Additional equipment may be necessary depending on the type of surgery you had.

If at any time during or before your surgery you have questions or concerns, our staff is here to answer your questions.

Schedule your surgical consultation at our Pinehurst office today!

knee replacement surgery Pinehurst NC

Nurture Your Knees: 2 Culprits of Knee Replacement Surgery

knee replacement surgery Pinehurst NC Replacing your windshield wipers and replacing your knees are two very common, but very different things. As the most common joint replacement surgery, knee replacement involves replacing your knee joints with artificial ones. Most commonly caused by arthritis or other joint problems, a knee replacement surgery can help restore your range of motion and ability move around once again. This article will discuss common causes of knee replacement surgeries. Read on to learn more.

Arthritis

There are three types of arthritis that can result in you having to get knee replacement surgery: post-traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Depending on how severe your arthritis is and how your overall health is, will help Dr. John Moore decide if a knee replacement surgery is a feasible option for you.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

  • This type of arthritis is typically caused by injury that occurred earlier in life. If left untreated, these injuries can cause inflammation and irritation of the ligaments which can later turn into post-traumatic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

  • This form of arthritis is caused by a loss of cartilage around the bones which causes the joints to rub together and wear down.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • This form of arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the knee joint and breaks it down.

Knee Deformities

Knee deformities that require a knee replacement are a bit rarer. However, they are still possible. For instance, individuals who have bow legs or knocked knees may need a knee replacement later in life if too much pressure is placed on their knee joints. Traditionally, we like our patients with knee deformities to try physical therapy first and then we can move onto surgery if we decide it is still needed.

Although knee replacements are a common surgery, they are not for everyone. If you would like to learn more about knee replacement surgery or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. John Moore’s office today!