Ask the Expert: Dr. Michael Maynard, Sports Medicine Surgeon, Answers Questions on Sports-Related Knee Injuries
Q1. Is it possible to have knee replacement with a rotation better than 90 degrees? I am 64 but still active. My knee problems are the result of many years of ballet, some professional. Do you consider this sports-related?
Yes, it is possible. In fact, the vast majority of patients treated at our hospital achieve an arc of rotation closer to 135 degrees. The degree of flexibility achieved is dependent upon a multitude of factors—too numerous to discuss in this forum. You should consult with an orthopedic surgeon to determine the best course of treatment. I consider dance to be an athletic endeavor.
Q2. How many hours does a torn ACL surgery take to perform?
Most primary ACL reconstructive surgery, where the ACL is the only injured structure addressed, can be performed in less than 2 hours.
Q3. I twisted my knee while playing basketball and am now in pain. How should I treat the pain?
The first thing to do is to avoid further trauma to the knee. If the pain subsides fully with this rest, and there is no residual stiffness or swelling present, you may be able to return to play. If stiffness and/or swelling are present, it is a good idea to have the knee examined by a physician. Consult with a physician before starting an exercise regimen.
Q4. I run 2-3 days a week, 4 miles each of those days, on pavement. My knees feel inflamed for the past week. Should I stop running?
Yes, a period of rest is a good idea in your case. If the knees “quiet down” you may attempt a return to running. To avoid a recurrence of inflammation I recommend two things:
a) Make sure your nutrition properly supports your level of activity: a good multivitamin, a calcium with vitamin D supplement, and a wide variety of proteins are the foundations of this support
b) Before running, warm up on a bike, rowing machine or with some other low-impact activity.
If the knees don’t return to normal, get checked by a physician. Also consult with a physician before starting an exercise regimen.
Q5. I tore my meniscus while playing soccer. If I get surgery, what is the typical recovery time until I can play soccer again?
Return to play in this scenario, in some cases, can be as rapid as two weeks. The time to recovery is primarily dependent upon the presence or absence of other associated damage in the knee, the avoidance of complications, and the patient’s innate ability to recover quickly. You should be evaluated by a physician before returning to play.
Dr. Michael Maynard is an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.