• Western Orthpaedic Clinic

Knee Conditions

Meniscus Tear

The knee has two rubber cushions or cartilages called the meniscus. One is on the inner half (medial meniscus) and one on the outer half (lateral meniscus). The meniscus can be torn through a twisting injury. The rubber meniscus is also prone to degeneration. Over time, it perishes like normal rubber. This increases the risk of tearing. A torn cartilage causes pain and catching symptoms. The torn segment can be repaired or removed with keyhole arthroscopic surgery.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (ACL)

The cruciate ligaments in the middle of the knee stabilise the knee from front to back and in rotation. Anterior cruciate ligament tears are common in sports such as football and netball. They often occur as a result of a change of direction injury. Cruciate ligament tears cause the knee to be unstable, resulting in episodes of giving way. Reconstruction is usually required if the patient wishes to return to competitive sport.


Patellofemoral Pain

Pain arising from the kneecap is a very common complaint. Typically it causes pain at the front of the knee, which is aggravated by bending, kneeling, squatting or stairs. It is also aggravated by prolonged sitting such as at the movies, or on a plane flight. It occurs commonly in young women as a result of maltracking of the patella. Maltracking refers to a kneecap which does not run centrally in the groove at the front of the knee, but rather tends to tilt to the outer side of the knee.

Patellofemoral pain also occurs as a result of arthritic wear behind the kneecap. Arthritis can be a late consequence of previous kneecap dislocation or maltracking.


Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the joint surface, known as the articular cartilage, wears away. The articular cartilage is very much like a layer of teflon on a frying pan. As the “teflon” layer wears away, it results in bone rubbing against bone, which causes pain and stiffness in the joint.

There is a strong hereditary component to osteoarthritis. The risk of osteoarthritis is also significantly increased as a result of previous injury to the knee or obesity. Knee replacement is a very reliable way to treat severe arthritis of the knee and provides lasting pain relief.