In recent years the number and severity of injuries to the knee joint have increased considerably. The reason for this lies in the expansion of popular sports and the ever greater loads in competitive sports. However, even without sports activity, joint pains may appear, in particular as a result of wear on the joint. While years ago treatment required extensive operations,the introduction of minimally invasive operational techniques in particular has led to excellent treatment results.
The knee joint connects the two largest bones of the human body. Functionally, it is the most complicated joint in the body. Since it is lacking a predominantly bony guide, unrestricted function can be achieved only if active and passive stabilizers, such as muscles, ligaments, menisci, and the joint capsule, supplement each other perfectly. In addition to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, it is the anterior and posterior cruciate knee ligaments that are responsible for stability. These are found the center of the joint. The anterior cruciate ligament stabilizes the lower leg against being pushed forward, while the posterior cruciate ligament prevents sliding backwards. The interior and exterior ligaments serve as side stabilizers. The interior and exterior menisci serve as "transportable joint sockets" for an ideal completion of the unequal transition from the upper to lower leg bones. These allow a perfect, practically frictionless gliding of the cartilage surfaces. At the same time the menisci protect the cartilage by reducing the impact of shocks, and together with the ligaments are responsible for the stability of the joint.
Arthroscopy (visioning of the joint) as a minimally invasive operating technique has in the meantime become a standard operation in joint surgery. Using a thin lighted optical instrument (arthroscope), one can completely visualize the interior of the joint. The images from the joint are transferred to a screen using a miniature camera. This technique allows the quite exact assessment of damage in the joints. At the same time, the damage can be treated with precision instruments, such as small punches, miniature scissors, and motor driven knives. Arthroscopic joint operations are technically very extensive, and demand lots of experience. The operating physicians of the Praxisklinik 2000 in the last 10 years have performed over 25,000 arthroscopic operations.