Knee Treatment & Care
Knee injuries are very common, and Dr. Welch evaluates many patients each day who sustain such injuries. The knee joint is made up of the end of the femur bone (thigh bone), end of the tibia bone (shin bone), patella (kneecap), cartilage that lines the bone, ligaments, and meniscii (pads that sit between the two bones). The knee withstands tremendous forces with everyday activities. On occasion, too much force through the knee (during a sports injury, for example) may lead to injury to one or more of these structures.
Dr. Welch had extensive training treating knee injuries as a resident at Boston University and as a fellow at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Dr. Welch cared for dozens of Division I college and professional athletes. For each patient, Dr. Welch performs a detailed review of each patient’s injury as well as a physical exam to assess each patient. If necessary, Dr. Welch obtains x-rays and/or an MRI to further evaluate the structures in the knee. Most patients may benefit from non-surgical management for injuries in the knee, including a dedicated physical therapy program and possibly bracing.
For those patients who require surgery, Dr. Welch brings the latest, evidence-based techniques to the seacoast. Surgical procedures in the knee, including ligament surgery (such as ACL surgery), cartilage surgery, and meniscus surgery, have evolved tremendously over the last 10 years. The goal of knee surgery is to relieve pain, provide stability, and prevent the onset of arthritis. Dr. Welch endorses and practices the newest, evidence-based techniques, as there is ample evidence that supports recent advances in ACL surgery, meniscal surgery, and cartilage surgery. For example, orthopaedic surgeons now have the ability to repair many types of meniscal tears. In the past, the vast majority of meniscus tears were treated with removal of the torn piece. Repair of the meniscus with subsequent healing has been shown to reduce forces in the knee and potentially prevent the onset of arthritis.
Dr. Welch considers each patient’s lifestyle and unique circumstances in life when formulating a treatment plan. The patient always shares in the decision-making process with Dr. Welch because some patients have different goals than others. If Dr. Welch thinks that the patient will benefit from surgery, he will discuss the rationale for the procedure and also explain the rehabilitation process in detail.