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Knee Pain Treatment Options

Find the Best Knee PainTreatment Option for You

Knee pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint. The knee relies on a number of structures including bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to bear your body weight and perform properly. As you age your knees can show significant wear and tear, especially in adults with arthritis, sports injuries or other types of injury. Technology and surgical innovation make a wide variety of knee pain treatment options available. Our team approach ensures you will receive the highest quality care, getting you back to your full functional ability quickly and safely.

Non-surgical Treatment Options for Knee Pain
Most common soft-tissue injuries are usually caused by over use or stress. Prior to suggesting surgical interventions, we exhaust all noninvasive approaches to control inflammation and help control pain. On many occasions, patients can be evaluated, diagnosed, receive imaging studies, and schedule physical therapy during a single visit. Noninvasive approaches include:


Physical Therapy

  • Bracing 
  • Compression – heat/cold devises
  • Topical modalities
  • Injectable modalities


  • Platelet-rich Plasma
  • Viscooelastic
  • Steroids

Weight-loss Counseling

Orthopedic Surgery Treatment Options

When non-surgical treatments are exhausted or your quality of life is impaired, your physician will work with you to select the best surgical treatment option for an optimal outcome. Surgeons at the Saint Francis Orthopedic Institute offer many effective minimally invasive treatment modalities. 

Robotic-Assisted Partial Knee Replacement 
Using a robotic arm, which aids in reduction or maladjustment or over correction (the leading causes of failure) the surgeon resurfaces the diseased portion of the knee, sparing your healthy bone, ligaments, tendons, and surrounding tissue. An implant, replacing only the medial, lateral compartments or patellofemoral joint of the knee, is secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again. The surgery is performed through a smaller incision, there is less bone resection and less soft tissue dissection leading to a rapid recovery, less pain and shorter hospitalization. Many surgeons prefer this procedure as an option in younger, more active patients.

Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement
When the knee joint is beyond repair, a total knee replacement may be the only alternative. Knee replacement surgery has improved markedly over the last 10 years and now replaces the cartilage with an artificial surface, similar to capping a tooth. The knee itself is not replaced, as is commonly thought, but rather 8-10 millimeters of surface is replaced on the end of the bones. This is done with a metal alloy on the femur and tibia, placement of a plastic spacer in between and resurfacing of the kneecap. This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functioning joint that does not hurt. A total knee replacement is recommended when a patient has at least two of the following indications:
• At least two of the three compartments of the knee have moderate to advanced arthritis
• Arthritis pain adversely affects quality of life
• All conservative measures have been exhausted
• Osteonecrosis diagnosis

A proximal tibial or distal femoral osteotomy may be considered for younger people with unresolved arthritis symptoms limited to the medial or lateral compartments. This procedure attempts to even the load distribution through the knee.

Arthroscopic and other Procedures
Using an arthroscope, a fiber optic telescope inserted into knee joint, surgeons are able to see knee damage and may also be able to repair damage or remove irritating particles. A small camera lens displays images on monitor, while surgical instruments are manipulated via a second small incision. The procedure takes less than one hour and requires 3 or 4 entry incisions which can be closed with little or no scaring. Arthroscopy works well for:
• Arthoscopic surgery of the menisci
• Arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair, posterior cruciate ligament (PLC) repair
• Surface cartilage repair, including Osteoarticular Transfer System (OATS procedure), micro fracture, cartilage transplant (carticel)

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Saint Francis Memorial Hospital
900 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 353-6000