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Knee orthopaedic Surgeon Near Me

Knee Arthritis

Cartilage is the smooth, rubbery tissue that covers the ends of your bones and helps them move smoothly. Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where this cartilage wears out.  When the articular cartilage wears out, the bone ends rub on one another and cause pain. Knee arthritis is a condition that damages the cartilage in your knee joint.

There are several types of arthritis that can affect the knee. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease that happens over time due to wear and tear on the joint. Other types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and septic arthritis.

Symptoms of knee arthritis can include:

  • Pain - You may experience a dull ache or a sharp pain that comes and goes. The pain may be worse when you are active or when you put weight on your knee.
  • Stiffness - You may notice that it is hard to bend or straighten your knee fully. The stiffness may be worse when you first wake up in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time.
  • Swelling - You may see swelling or have a feeling of fullness around your knee. The swelling may get worse when you spend long periods on your feet.
  • Warmth - You may feel warmth around your affected knee joint.
  • Locking - In some cases, pieces of bone or cartilage may break off and float around in your knee joint. This can cause the knee to “lock” or freeze in place.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see an orthopaedic knee specialist so that they can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend treatment options.

Treatment for knee arthritis will vary depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, conservative measures can ease your symptoms. These options can include:

  • Medications - Medications may include different classes such as anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, artificial joint fluid injections, and other drugs.
  • Lifestyle modifications - Your specialist may recommend lifestyle modifications such as:
    • A moderate exercise program.
    • Use of heat or cold treatments.
    • Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.
    • Getting adequate rest.
    • Losing weight.
    • Protecting your joints with the use of assistive devices such as splints or braces to support the weakened joints.
  • Physical therapy - Your physical therapist will teach you exercises to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength.

If these conservative measures are not effective, your doctor may recommend more aggressive treatments such as steroid injections or arthroscopic knee surgery. Joint replacement surgery is considered as an option when the pain is so severe that it affects your ability to carry out normal activities. Total knee replacement, also called total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the worn out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with an artificial prosthesis. Dr. Brian Kelly is experienced in performing this surgery to help patients reduce their symptoms.

If you are suffering from knee arthritis, reach out Brian J. Kelly MD. As one of the top orthopaedic specialists in Pittsburgh, Dr. Kelly will help you develop a treatment plan to relieve your knee pain and get you back on your feet.


X-ray view of a woman walking

Best Knee Injury Treatment in Pittsburgh

Chondral Defect Knee Treatment

The cartilage that covers the ends of bones at joints is called articular cartilage. It is a smooth, white tissue that allows bones to glide over each other with very little friction. Chondral lesions cause damage to this cartilage. Chondral lesions can be found in any joint, but they are most common in the knee. Chondral lesions can be caused by trauma, infection, or arthritis, and they can occur due to the wear and tear of aging. 

When cartilage is damaged, chondral injury knee symptoms can include:

  • Severe pain. 
  • Inflammation.
  • Stiffness.
  • Decreased range of motion of the knee. 

Because of its avascular nature (absence of blood supply), cartilage cannot repair itself and therefore surgical treatment is usually required to restore cartilage function and prevent the progression of the damage into arthritis.

Knee cartilage restoration is a surgical technique to repair damaged articular cartilage in the knee joint by stimulating new growth of cartilage or by transplanting cartilage into areas with defects in order to relieve pain and restore normal function to the knee. Some of the most common procedures for knee cartilage restoration include:

  • Microfracture - In this method of chondral defect surgery, numerous holes are created in the injured joint surface using a sharp tool. This procedure stimulates a healing response by creating a new blood supply which results in the growth of new cartilage.
  • Drilling - In this method, a drilling instrument is used to create holes in the injured joint surface. Drilling holes creates blood supply and stimulates the growth of new cartilage. Although the method is similar to microfracture, it is less precise, and the heat produced during drilling may damage other tissues.
  • Abrasion Arthroplasty - This procedure is similar to drilling, but a high-speed metal-like object is used to remove the damaged cartilage instead of drills or wires.
  • Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation - Healthy cartilage tissue (graft) is taken from the bone that bears less weight and is transferred to the injured joint place. This method is used for smaller cartilage defects.
  • Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation - A cartilage tissue (graft) is taken from a donor and transplanted to the site of the injury. Allograft technique is recommended if a larger part of the cartilage is damaged.
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation - In this method, a piece of healthy cartilage from another site is removed using an arthroscopic technique and is cultured in the laboratory. Cultured cells form a larger patch which is then implanted in the damaged part by open surgery.

Most cartilage restoration procedures can be performed arthroscopically, a minimally invasive surgery that involves making 3 small keyhole incisions around the knee joint using an arthroscope, a small flexible tube with a light and video camera at the end that enables your surgeon to view inside of the joints and perform surgery. In certain cases, open surgery may be required to access the affected area requiring longer incisions. Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss the best surgical options for you based on your condition.

Dr. Brian Kelly and his team are experienced in performing cartilage restoration surgery to relieve patients of their symptoms. If you are in need of knee injury treatment, trust in Dr. Kelly to improve your condition and get your mobility back.

MACI Knee Procedures in Pittsburgh

MACI Procedures for Knee Arthritis & Chondral Lesions

Dr. Brian Kelly in Pittsburgh offers MACI procedures as a viable option for patients experiencing knee arthritis and chondral lesions. MACI stands for Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, which is a type of treatment that involves the use of a patient's own cartilage cells to stimulate healing in damaged areas. This form of regenerative medicine is a great alternative to traditional joint replacement surgery and has been known to produce long-lasting results.

During the MACI procedure, small pieces of cartilage are extracted from a patient's body and sent to a lab where they are multiplied through cell culture techniques. The newly grown cells are then implanted back into the patient's knee, where they can stimulate natural processes that rebuild damaged areas of cartilage. This process can help to alleviate pain, improve joint function, and reduce inflammation.

Dr. Kelly has helped countless patients overcome knee arthritis and chondral lesions. He is dedicated to providing personalized care to each and every one of his patients and takes the time to ensure that they fully understand the process of the MACI procedure. If you are in need of knee arthritis or chondral lesion treatment, contact Dr. Brian Kelly’s office to learn more about how MACI can help you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need a total knee replacement for my arthritis?

Total knee replacement surgery is commonly indicated for severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Your orthopaedic specialist may advise total knee replacement if you have:

  • Severe knee pain that limits your daily activities (such as walking, getting up from a chair or climbing stairs).
  • Moderate-to-severe pain that occurs during rest or awakens you at night.
  • Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that is not relieved with rest or medications.
  • Failure to obtain pain relief from medications, injections, physical therapy or other conservative treatments.
  • A bow-legged knee deformity.

Dr. Brian Kelly will conduct a thorough evaluation of your condition and help you decide what is the best route of treatment for you.

How do I prepare for knee cartilage restoration surgery?

Preoperative preparation for knee cartilage restoration will involve the following steps:

  • A thorough examination by your doctor to check for any medical issues that need to be addressed prior to surgery.
  • Depending on your medical history, social history, and age, routine blood work and imaging may be ordered for safely conducting surgery.
  • You will be asked if you have any allergies to medications, anesthesia, or latex.
  • You should inform your doctor of any medications, vitamins, or supplements that you may be taking.
  • You should refrain from medications or supplements such as blood thinners, aspirin, or anti-inflammatory medicines for a week or two prior to surgery.
  • You should refrain from alcohol or tobacco at least 24 hours prior to surgery.
  • You should not consume any solids or liquids at least 8 hours prior to surgery.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be able to drive yourself post surgery.
  • A written consent will be obtained from you after the surgical procedure has been explained in detail.

At Dr. Brian J. Kelly’s office, your specialist will be with you every step of the way to ensure you have a successful procedure.

What does recovery from knee cartilage restoration surgery entail?

In general, postoperative care and recovery after knee cartilage restoration involve the following:

  • You will be transferred to the recovery area to be monitored until you are awake from the anesthesia.
  • Your nurse will monitor your blood oxygen level and other vital signs as you recover.
  • You will be placed on crutches for the first few weeks with instructions on restricted weight-bearing. You are encouraged to walk with assistance as frequently as possible to prevent blood clots.
  • Use of a continuous passive motion machine (CPM) at home is advised during the first few weeks to aid in the constant movement of the joint under a controlled range of motion.
  • You are advised to keep your leg elevated while resting to prevent swelling and pain.
  • You will notice some pain and discomfort in the knee area. Medications will be provided for comfort.
  • Physical therapy and range of motion exercises are advised to restore mobility and strengthen the joints and muscles.
  • Anti-nausea medications will be prescribed as needed for discomfort associated with anesthesia.
  • You should keep your surgical site clean and dry for at least 48 hours. Instructions on surgical site care and bathing will be provided.
  • Refrain from smoking as it can negatively affect the healing process.
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamin D is strongly advised to promote healing and a faster recovery.
  • Refrain from strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects for the first couple of months. Gradual increase in activities over a period of time is recommended.
  • You will be able to return to your normal activities in a month or two; however, returning to sports may take 4 to 6 months.
  • A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor your progress.

Dr. Kelly will stay connected with you throughout your treatment to ensure that you are recovering well from your procedure.

How do I get started with a knee doctor near me?

If you are looking for a knee specialist in Moon Township, look no further than the office of Brain J. Kelly MD. Dr. Kelly and his skilled team will do everything in their power to help you reduce knee pain and restore mobility and function.

No one should have to live with chronic knee pain. Let Dr. Brian J. Kelly help you get your mobility back. You can contact us by phone at 412-262-7800, or visit our office at 725 Cherrington Pkwy, Suite 200, Moon Township, PA 15208.

Looking for a Knee Specialist in Pittsburgh? Call Dr. Brian Kelly

Get your mobility back with the best orthopaedic surgeon near you at Brian J. Kelly MD.

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