Bearing damage & Early wear

As we age the surface of our joints can become worn and cause pain. This can eventually lead to a completely worn joint and arthritis requiring joint replacement surgery.

Early wear of the bearing surface and damage to the surface during sports or an injury can cause problems long before a patient would be suitable for a replacement joint.

Arthroscopic surgery can help treat this damage to the surface to reduce pain and in some cases heal the damage with regenerative techniques.

Early wear of the bearing surface can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, locking, catching, clicking and the formation of loose bodies (loose bits) within the knee.

Wear of the femoral bearing surface with a loose flap

After the loose flaps have been trimmed off

During the surgery the area of wear is assessed and any loose parts are removed. If the defect is small and self contained then treatment to make it heal (microfracture/cartilage repair) can be attempted. If the wear is more widespread then the rough parts are smoothed down to reduce pain and mechanical symptoms.

Occasionally the amount of wear is more severe than X-rays and MRI scans suggest and the simple arthroscopic surgery is not enough to settle symptoms. If this is the case Mr Gallacher will discuss the future treatment options with you either after the surgery or at follow up in the outpatients clinic.

Following the surgery you can weight bear immediately but the knee will be painful and swollen for 2-3 weeks. Most patients are back to normal by 4-6 weeks following surgery.