Knee pain and knee surgery

When jogging, sitting or recovering after a hike: knee pain and knee problems can occur at any time and at any age. There can be many different reasons and symptoms for this pain and problems. 

The medical specialty of knee surgery as part of orthopaedics specialises in all of these conditions. The knee specialists at our clinics treat knee problems of all kinds. 

Quick facts 

Anatomy

The knee joint is one of the most complicated joints in the human body. It connects the femur to the tibia and enables us to walk, sprint and stand. Due to this complexity, it requires specialists in knee surgery who are familiar with every last detail of the knee and have many years of experience. 

Legend: 

Knee joint viewed from the front: Femur, Extensor tendon, Kneecap, Outer ligament (lateral ligament), Kneecap vision, Fibula, Shinbone, Inner ligament (collateral ligament), Meniscus 

Troubles & symptoms 

The most common troubles and symptoms of knee pain include the following symptoms, which can vary in severity and frequency: 

  • Pain: The pain can vary in intensity, from mild discomfort to severe, stabbing pain. 

  • Swelling and redness: Swelling and discolouration of the knee can be caused by inflammation, fluid accumulation or injury. 

  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the joint that restricts mobility and makes stretching and bending difficult. 

  • Crunching or rubbing: Crunching or rubbing when moving can indicate problems in the cartilage or menisci. 

  • Instability: A feeling of instability and decreasing strength that leads to wobbly knees. 

Most common injuries and illnesses 

Further information on diagnosis, therapy and treatment options: 

  • Knee osteoarthritis: Degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage wears away and causes pain. 
  • Knee prosthesis: A surgically implanted artificial knee joint. 
  • Cruciate ligament rupture: Injury to the anterior or posterior cruciate ligament, can be caused by movement or trauma. 
  • Meniscus injuries: Damage to the buffer structures in the knee - the menisci - and causes pain, swelling and restricted movement. 
  • Cartilage damage: Includes damage and wear to the cartilage structures in the joint. 
  • Knee arthroscopy: A minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small camera is inserted into the knee joint for inspection and repair. 

Osteoarthritis of the knee
Knee arthroscopy
Knee prosthesis
Cartilage damage
Cruciate ligament tear
Meniscus tear

Our services for your knee recovery 

Stay healthy 

An active lifestyle and varied sport can be crucial for maintaining flexible and healthy joints. You can benefit from the experience of experts at one of our national sports centres or check your state of health with our sports check-ups. 

Conservative treatments and knee operations 

In our clinics, we offer you a wide range of therapy and treatment options, from conservative, pain-relieving therapies to surgical interventions.

  • Arthroscopic procedures (arthroscopy) for the early stages of osteoarthritis, with cartilage smoothing and removal of new bone formation and painful plicas
  • Injections of hyaluronic acid, cortisone or autologous blood
  • Artificial knee joints/knee prosthesis (surface replacement, partial or total prosthesis)
  • Revision of knee prostheses and treatments for painful artificial knee joints
  • Axis correction at the knee in the case of bow legs and knock knees
  • Anterior and posterior cruciate ligament replacement following a cruciate ligament tear
  • Treatment of tendon and ligament injuries in the knee
  • Cartilage and bone transplantation in the case of cartilage damage
  • Meniscus surgery (after meniscus tear or meniscus damage); meniscus suture
  • Operations on the kneecap (patella)
  • Second opinions on all knee problems

Follow-up treatments 

Our main goal is that you can quickly return to your normal everyday life after an operation or treatment, therefore we offer a wide range of rehabilitation options and medical follow-up checks at Swiss Medical Network. 

Frequently asked questions answered by knee specialists

What are the most common causes of knee problems?

Knee problems can have many causes. Common causes include injuries, excessive or incorrect strain on the joint, or weak muscles in the knee.

What injuries cause knee pain?

Pain or injuries that lead to knee surgery often affect the cartilage, menisci or ligaments. However, injuries are not just the result of hard physical work or sports. Sudden stopping movements and a combination of flexion and twisting of the knee can also lead to injuries, such as:

  • meniscus tear
  • tendon tears
  • cruciate ligament tear
  • bruising

What is the most common cause of knee pain?

In active people, overexertion of the ligaments and tendons, as well as bursitis, can often cause problems with the knee. Meniscus injuries and damage to the cruciate ligament or cartilage also cause knee problems. In older adults, most knee problems are caused by symptoms of wear, such as osteoarthritis of the knee.

What can be done preventatively to avoid knee surgery?

At first glance, exercise may seem to be a risk factor for knee injuries and knee pain. However, regular exercise trains the muscles around the knee and stabilises the joint.

There are also various sports that are especially gentle on the joint. These includes classic cross-country skiing, swimming, cycling or fitness training on certain gym equipment. A healthy and varied diet also contributes significantly to the prevention of knee problems.

What is jumper’s or runner’s knee?

The condition known as jumper’s knee occurs when the ligaments are overexerted due to repeated jumping movements or sudden changes in direction. This overexertion can lead to minor injuries to the tendons on the lower edge of the kneecap. New connective tissue forms there and the nerves and blood vessels cause exertion-induced pain.

Runner’s knee is most common in long-distance runners. The pain that occurs on the outside of the knee is caused by tendon problems. The group of tendons that start at the pelvis and extend along the side of the thigh to the tibial plateau repeatedly rub against the knee joint during movement. This strains the tissue and leads to inflammation. 

When is knee surgery recommended?

First of all, the knee problem must be thoroughly investigated. Depending on the cause, it may be possible to achieve good results with conservative measures (e.g. medication or physiotherapy). If the symptoms are so severe that there is persistent pain and the patient’s quality of life is compromised, then surgery should be considered.

Osteoarthritis is a gradual process with increasing levels of pain. When do you need a knee prosthesis?

If your quality of life is restricted or your everyday life is full of pain and uncertainty, a knee prosthesis can help. An artificial knee joint can provide freedom from pain and restored mobility. The lifespan of an artificial joint is usually 10 to 15 years. There are various factors that can limit the lifespan of an artificial joint, such as: obesity, activity, increased osteoporosis, infections, allergies, joint instability and accidents.

Doctors with this specialisation

Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Urs Munzinger

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Hip surgery
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Dirk Markus Lehnen

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Sports medicine, Knee pain and knee surgery, Hip surgery, Foot/ankle surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Hip osteoarthritis, Hip impingement, Hip prosthesis, Achilles tendon rupture, Torn ligaments/ligament injuries, Osteoarthritis of the ankle View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Matthias Hendrik Schmied

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Hip osteoarthritis, Hip impingement, Hip prosthesis, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Berend-Tüge Berendsen

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Foot/ankle surgery, Hip surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Sports medicine View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Viviane Centmaier-Molnar

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Sports medicine, Foot/ankle surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Knee arthroscopy, Achilles tendon rupture, Torn ligaments/ligament injuries, Hallux valgus, Cruciate ligament tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Daniel Wüst

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Hip osteoarthritis, Hip prosthesis, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear, Foot/ankle surgery, Achilles tendon rupture, Heel pain, Hallux valgus, Morton’s neuroma, Osteoarthritis of the ankle View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Philipp Neidenbach

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

PD Dr med Fabian von Knoch

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Hip osteoarthritis, Hip impingement, Hip prosthesis, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Christopher Schmidt

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Erggelet

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Hip osteoarthritis, Hip impingement, Hip prosthesis, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Stephan Plaschy

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Hip osteoarthritis, Hip impingement, Hip prosthesis, Knee pain and knee surgery, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more
Privatklinik Bethanien

Dr. med. Bruno Waespe

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Hip surgery
Privatklinik Bethanien

PD Dr med Florian Naal

Specialisation
Orthopaedic surgery, Hip surgery, Knee pain and knee surgery, Hip prosthesis, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Knee arthroscopy, Knee prosthesis, Cartilage damage, Cruciate ligament tear, Meniscus tear View more

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