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When Your Knees Are More of a Liability than an Asset

Your knees are two of the most vulnerable joints in your body. While other joints certainly wear out with a lifetime of work and/or sports, knees bear the brunt of your weight day in and day out; they can suffer from cumulative damage that presents long before your senior years. In fact, a third of Americans aged 45 and older suffer from some level of knee pain. 

At The Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine in San Francisco, California, Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht can assess your knee pain and walk you through your options for joint preservation. Eventually, however, conservative treatments may fail. At that point, partial joint replacement may be your best option. 

Anatomy of the knee

The knee is an extremely complex joint with many parts. The joint connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone) with a capsule wrapped in tendons and ligaments. The capsule is protected at the front by the patella (kneecap), and filled with synovial fluid to help the different components slide easily as the joint bends and twists.

Aging and your knees

As you age, your knee joint can degrade due to wear-and-tear or old injuries that cause arthritis. Your aging knees may begin to experience:

All of these, plus inflammation or swelling, can cause increased friction and pain. Your knees might grate and grind, or “pop” when you walk. They can also lock up when you sit or stand for long periods of time.

Treatment for knee pain

Dr. Halbrecht will try the most conservative forms of surgical treatment first. Depending on where your knee damage is localized, he can provide:

If these types of treatments fail to give your knee stability without pain, or if your knee joint is too badly damaged to benefit, all is not lost. Dr. Halbrecht can let you know when your knees have become a liability to your ongoing health and can perform a partial knee replacement to restructure and stabilize the knee joint.

The knee replacement process removes damaged components and replaces them with new, synthetic ones, restoring your mobility and flexibility and helping to minimize or even eliminate pain. 

Are you tired of knee pain dictating your every move? To request an appointment at our office, call 415-233-7996, or schedule online with our convenient booking system.

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