Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)

MIS Joint Replacement offers important advantages, requiring smaller incisions and potentially causing less trauma, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and less scarring than traditional techniques.

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Partial Knee Resurfacing

Partial knee resurfacing (PKR) is a surgical procedure for relieving arthritis in one compartment of the knee. With PKR, only the damaged surface of the knee joint is replaced, helping to minimize trauma to healthy bone and tissue.

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Rotator Cuff Repair

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. A torn rotator cuff will weaken your shoulder. This means that many daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult to do.

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Meniscal Tears and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears

If you frequently play sports like tennis, football, or baseball, you are susceptible to meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. The meniscus is found in the knee, which is the largest, most complex joint in the body. As flexible and quick as your reaction time may be when playing contact sports, the meniscus can be torn by anyone at any age whether due to excessive strain or injury. The ACL, on the other hand, is more susceptible to injury and may require surgery to regain full function of your knee.

Understanding Knee Injuries

Your knee is composed of the femur, the patella, and the tibia. These bones are covered by cartilage that acts as shock absorbers to cushion the joint. This, in addition to the membrane to lubricate the cartilage, reduces friction. Ligaments connect these bones by acting as strong connectors to stabilize the knee. The key to athletes being able to perform extraordinarily on the field is the intricate relationship of the fibrous cartilage of the knee (meniscus), which distribute the forces of gravity across the joint, in conjunction with the stabilizing ligaments of the knee, known as the cruciate and collateral ligaments. When excessive strain is applied to the knee, sudden meniscal tears can occur as a result of direct contact. Meniscal tears can also occur simply due to tissue weakening with age. On the other hand, ACL tears are more commonly referred to as "sprains." The severity of the sprain can depend on whether the ligaments have been overly stretched or torn.

Symptoms and Causes of Meniscal and ACL Tears

Meniscal tears are all too common for football and baseball players. Meniscal tears are generally accompanied by a "popping" feeling followed by swelling and stiffness of the knees over 2-3 days. For athletes, the tearing of the meniscus doesn't hurt their game. They continue to strain and without treatment, the meniscus can come loose and encounter the joint.

ACL tears are also very common for athletes due to excessive strain on the ligaments. Other than meniscal tears, ACL tears are more susceptible to women due to the significant differences in physical and muscular characteristics. There are several common ways the ACL can be torn, the majority include: incorrectly landing from a jump, stopping suddenly, or rapidly changing directions while running. The most noticeable characteristic of an ACL tear is mutual to meniscal tears – the "popping" feeling. The next time you're running track and feel a "popping" feeling after a sudden turn, you may start to feel some discomfort while walking and painful swelling.

If you're experiencing symptoms such as pain, loss of sensation or stability, or stiffness and swelling, you may want to consult Dr. McLennan for treatment options.

Medical Evaluation

After evaluating your symptoms, Dr. McLennan will proceed with examining the meniscus for tenderness as well as performing the McMurray test. This test is to evaluate the stability and strength of the knee by bending, straightening, and rotating the knee. If a meniscal tear is present, your knee will produce a clicking sound. Further test will be required however, due to the symptoms of meniscal tears being similar to other problems.

If Dr. McLennan finds that your symptoms are due to an ACL injury, he may take similar precautions to evaluating the ligaments as meniscal tears. The most noticeable difference would be the Lachman's test. The Lachman's test is the examination of the forward movement of the tibia in relation to the femur to discover any soft, mushy feeling that may point to ACL tearing.

Treatment

The solution to treating meniscal tears can be both surgical and non-surgical depending on the type, size, and location of the tear. When the injury is sports-related, an effective, common approach is the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to reduce swelling caused by inflammation.

Surgical treatment is generally advised for more serious injuries or combined injuries. In most cases, ACL tears may be accompanied with meniscal tears. If the tears are severe enough, knee arthroscopy is a common approach to alleviate pain. Knee arthroscopy is the process of inserting a small camera inside the knee that provides real-time feeds that guide the surgeon throughout the procedure. Meniscal tears may be repaired or damaged areas removed. Instability of the knee may be a result of injuries to the Medial or Lateral Collateral ligaments, most of which do not require operative intervention. In contrast, complete tears or significant laxity of the Cruciate ligaments usually require surgical intervention, most commonly using autografts, tendons harvested from areas around the knee, or allografts, harvested from donors.

A Higher Standard of Orthopaedic Care: Dr. Jon G. McLennan

Jon G. McLennan, MD brings to the table his expertise of over 30 years in the field of Orthopaedic Surgery. He possesses an extraordinary eye for detail and passion in his work authoring over twenty-five peer-reviewed publications, providing insightful, educational presentations on the subjects of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, and has developed numerous surgical devices and unique techniques that have revolutionized the field. If you would like to learn more about how Dr. McLennan's Modern Day Solutions with Old Fashioned Care can change your life, schedule a time to speak with him at his La Quinta, CA, Palm Springs, CA, or Palm Desert, CA location or call (760) 771-4900