The knee is the largest and one of the most easily injured joints in the body.Common problems may include problems such as:

Knee

The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. It is made up of the lower end of the thighbone (femur), which rotates on the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella), which slides in a groove on the end of the femur. The knee also contains large ligaments, which help control motion by connecting bones and by bracing the joint against abnormal types of motion. Another important structure, the meniscus, is a wedge of soft cartilage between the femur and tibia that serves to cushion the knee and helps it absorb shock during motion. The knee is a complex joint with many components, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Many knee injuries can be successfully treated without surgery, while others require surgery to correct.

Common Problems

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears-This is a common athletic injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the major stabilizing ligament of the knee. It runs from the thigh bone to the shinbone through the center of the knee where it prevents the knee from buckling. Tears usually occur with a sudden change in direction or when something stops the movement of the knee abruptly.   In the past, this required large incisions and complicated recovery.  Our physicians utilize new technology that allows the reconstruction of the ACL through a completely arthroscopic technique (minimally invasive).

Meniscus tears– tears in knee cartilage (meniscus) –The meniscus is a small, horseshoe-shaped, mobile shock absorber between the bones inside the knee joint. There are two in each knee, one on either side of the joint. Meniscus tears are extremely common with ACL injuries.  Because of a poor blood supply, most meniscus tears cannot heal by themselves.  Arthroscopy allows the torn portion to be trimmed away and allows a rapid, functional recovery which includes walking the same day of the surgery and return to work and sports within 2-3 weeks. In rare cases, when the tear is located next to the blood supply a repair of the meniscus can be done during arthroscopy.

Osteoarthritis– Osteoarthritis or” wear and tear” arthritis is the most common form of arthritis that develops after age 40. Osteoarthritis is caused in part by wear and tear on a joint over time. It develops as cartilage – smooth tissue that cushions bones and keeps them from rubbing against each other – breaks down. This leads to joints becoming painful and swollen. When the cushioning system of the joint is lost, the bones may grind painfully against each other. The joint can begin to stiffen and movement is impaired. The knee is the most commonly affected joint. Our physicians have extensive experience in treating arthritis-related complaints.  A combination of non-operative methods such as therapy, medications, and injections are always considered first. Arthroscopic and minimally invasive “partial joint replacements” may also be attempted before advancing to “total joint replacement”, the ultimate treatment for severe osteoarthritis of the knee.

PHYSICIANS

Dr. John Mulroy, M.D.

College Boston College – Chestnut Hill, MA B.S., Biology/Mathematic Medical School Tufts University School of Medicine – Boston, MA M.D. Degree Internship St. Elizabeth’s Hospital – Boston, MA General Surgery Residency St. Elizabet

Dr. Michael Vazquez, M.D.

College Williams College- Williamstown, MA B.A., Biology Medical School Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons – New York, NY M.D. Degree Internship Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center- Boston, MA General Surgery Residency Harvar

Dr. Susan Barrett, M.D.

College Harvard University – Cambridge, MA Medical School Tulane University School of Medicine – New Orleans, LA Internship Barnes-Jewish Hospital  – St. Louis, MO Washington University School of Medicine – St. Louis, MO General