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Your Knee Specialists


Knee pain is a common condition that can affect people of any age. Luckily, most knee pain can be addressed through conservative measures such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), therapeutic exercises and activity modification.

The knee joint is a complex joint. It has two compartments, the medial and lateral compartments, formed from the bottom of the thigh bone (femur) which sits on top of major lower leg bone (tibia). In the front of the joint, forming the third compartment is the kneecap (patella) which lies in the quadriceps tendon and rides in a groove in the end of the thighbone (femur).


The knee joint has limited stability from a bony perspective. Therefore, the knee must rely on its ligaments and muscles to provide stability. Certain injuries to the knee may require advanced imaging such as an MRI to further evaluate them. In some cases, arthroscopic knee surgery may be needed to repair the torn ligament or cartilage.


Despite advanced surgical techniques to treat knee injuries, arthritis of the knee may be the long-term outcome from past traumatic episodes. In addition, with aging, one can lose cartilage; this is termed degenerative or osteoarthritis. Conservative measures are typically the first line treatment approach for these problems. Regenerative medicine options such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells injections are other treatment options. If conservative measures fail, however, knee replacement surgery may be necessary to replace the damaged lining of the joint.

Meniscus tears

Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually referring to a torn meniscus.

Acute meniscus tears often happen while playing sports. As people age, they are more likely to have degenerative meniscus tears. Symptoms may include pain, stiffness, swelling, locking or feeling like your knee is giving way. 

Many meniscus tears will not need immediate surgery. If symptoms do not persist and you have no locking or swelling of the knee, your doctor may recommend nonsurgical treatment, including the RICE protocol:

Rest. Take a break from the activity that caused the injury. Your doctor may recommend that you use crutches to avoid putting weight on your leg.

Ice. Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.

Compression. To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage.

Elevation. To reduce swelling, recline when you rest, and put your leg up higher than your heart.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries

One of the most common knee injuries is an ACL sprain or tear. Partial tears are rare; most ACL injuries are complete or near complete tears. If this ligament is injured, surgery may be required to regain full function of the knee. This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injury, age, and activity level.

Some of the ways the anterior cruciate ligament can be injured include:

– Changing direction rapidly
– Stopping suddenly
– Slowing down while running
– Landing from a jump incorrectly
– Direct contact or collision, such as a tackle

If the overall stability of the knee is intact, the doctor may recommend simple, nonsurgical options including bracing and physical therapy.


The good news is most injuries to the knee can be resolved conservatively, and majority of the others can be treated effectively surgically. Click on any physician image below to learn more below about Atlanta’s top orthopedic knee doctors and specialists.