Category Archives: Knee

Treatments that reduce knee buckling may help prevent falls in older adults

Symptoms of knee instability in older adults may indicate an increased risk of falling and of experiencing the various physical and psychological effects that can result from falling, according to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The findings indicate that determining effective treatments for knee instability should be an important priority as clinicians care for aging patients.

Knee buckling, often described as a knee “giving way,” is a symptom of knee instability that frequently affects older individuals, in particular those with knee pain and knee osteoarthritis (OA), and may be caused by muscle weakness and balance difficulties. If knee instability leads to frequent falls and fall-related injuries, exercises and other interventions that stabilize the knee may help maintain older individuals’ health and quality of life.

Knee Replacements : Success Is Process Driven

Successful knee replacements can radically improve your quality of life. On the other hand, if your knee replacement does not go well, it will be a source of never ending frustration and disability. While many people do well, and some do exceptionally well, there are still a fair number of you out there who continue to have problems.

What can be done to maximize your chances of success following a knee replacement?

A successful, well functioning knee replacement will be the result of a reproducible process that should be relatively surgeon agnostic, as well as prosthetic agnostic. That means that there are many surgeons capable of getting you back on your feet. Many are right in your backyard. You shouldn’t succumb to the hype or feel the need to travel to Chicago and pay $60,000 for an ambulatory knee replacement.

Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

Minimally Invasive (MIS) knee replacement is a new technique which can
significantly improve a patient’s rate of recovery from surgery. Dr. Stephen Kelly has been a leader in this field for OA Centers for Orthopaedics. He has successfully performed this procedure more than 500 times with significant improvements in patient’s pain after surgery and very rapid return to function.

Knee replacement surgery traditionally has required a 10-12 inch incision with the cutting of muscle and tendon. This new minimally invasive technique involves …

Graft Properties Affect Knee Ligament Surgery Outcome More Than Surgical Technique


In anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, graft stiffness and pre-strain play a more vital role than the choice of surgical technique, indicates a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The study developed a computational 3D model of the knee joint, which can be used in the prevention of osteoarthritis (OA), specifically OA resulting from trauma.

OA is a major burden to society. It is estimated that over 100 million people suffer from …

Bad Knees: The Best Exercises to Prevent Further Injury

When people have bad knees, whether they were athletes for several years, received a detrimental injury or have osteoarthritis, it can be a pain – literally. Aside from limiting your daily activity, it can also make staying in shape a lot harder. Consider these exercises to keep active with bad knees.

Common mistakes

best exercises to prevent further injuryWhen people with bad knees exercise, they often make a few mistakes along the way. First off, many people try several different cardio exercises, which is not always a good idea. Only certain knee exercises can help burn calories without putting people in pain. When some do knee exercises, they may bend their knees past the front of their toes. This can aggravate knee joints and make orthopedic problems worse. This is because it puts intense pressure beneath the kneecap, stressing the muscles around it. People sometimes start to perform exercises that their knees cannot handle because they did not ask their doctor first, putting them in danger. Knowing knee strength and capability is crucial before starting any kind of exercise regimen.

Beneficial Knee Exercises

Think about trying out these activities at the gym to get a workout in. Complete these exercises in 10 or more repetitions.

Partial Squats – Many people know that regular squats can put bad knees in a lot of pain. However, partial squats can burn calories without aggravating the knee muscles. People begin this exercise similar to regular squats, with their feet hip-width apart. Slowly lower the body, making sure that the toes do not go past the knees. People should only go as low as is comfortable.

Step-Ups – Step-ups can help work the hamstrings, quads and gluteus muscles and strengthen knee muscles if done correctly. People can use an anaerobic step or a step on a staircase for this activity. Step up on one foot, tapping the other at the edge of the stair. Step down and switch. As with partial squats, the knee should not bend over the toes.

Calf Raises – This exercise strengthens the foot, ankle and calf muscles. Stand up with both feet pointed forward. Raise the heels off the ground slowly and then lower them again, making sure to keep the heels in sync. Going slowly makes the workout harder. If people have difficulty staying balanced, they can use a wall or chair for stability.

Hamstring Stretch – This activity helps promote circulation and prevents muscle injuries. People should begin by lying on their back with one leg straight out. Keeping the other leg straight, they should wrap a towel around the foot and pull the leg toward them, making sure that the knee does not lock.

Dr. Stickney specializes in hip, knee and shoulder surgery in his Kirkland and Redmond locations. If you are experiencing knee issues or have questions about your treatment options, contact our office to schedule your next appointment! Watch Dr. Stickney’s video and learn more about orthopedic surgery.

Early Signs of Osteoarthritis (OA) in the Knee

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem for many people after middle age. OA is sometimes referred to as degenerative, or wear and tear, arthritis. OA commonly affects the knee joint. In fact, knee OA is the most common cause of disability in the United States. In the past, people were led to believe that nothing could be done for their problem. Now doctors have many ways to treat knee OA so patients have less pain, better movement, and enhanced quality of life.

Signs of osteoarthritis

According to a HealthDayNews report, “Having knee pain while using the stairs may be an early sign of arthritis.” A study conducted at the University of Leeds included more than 4,600 people who were at high risk for arthritis. Researchers followed the volunteers for up to seven years.

Professor Philip Conaghan, a professor of musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Leeds in England stated in a news release, “At present, we have little concept of ‘early’ osteoarthritis and often only see people when they have significant, longstanding pain and loss of function.” He goes on to say, “This research is vital to understanding early symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.”

Using stairs was the first weight-bearing activity in which people with early knee arthritis noticed pain. They later developed pain while walking, standing, lying or sitting, and finally, while resting in bed.

“Knowing this will help us intervene earlier, perhaps leading to more effective ways of treating this very painful condition,” Conaghan explained.

According to Dr. Stickney, “Knee replacement is a very effective surgery for correcting deformity and relieving pain from arthritis. The typical conditions leading up to the need for a knee replacement are osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid disease, and posttraumatic arthritis or damage to the cartilage after a prior injury. Knee replacement involves replacing or capping the joint surfaces where the cartilage has been damaged with metal and plastic components. The amount of bone removed in a knee replacement procedure is typically less than 9-mm. Typically, three of the four major ligaments of the knee can remain in place.”

Dr. Stickney goes on to say, “You should expect improvement after a knee replacement for 6 to 12 months. The majority of improvement will occur in the first two months. Most people require therapy for 2 to 3 months after surgery and most people will not return to work for 2 to 3 months after surgery. Typically physical therapy is performed in the home for the first two weeks after surgery and then on an outpatient basis for at least 2 to 3 months after surgery. The hospital stay after knee replacement is typically two days.”

If you are suffering from OA or would like more information about knee replacement, call Dr. Stickney to learn and understand possible treatments by calling 425-823-4000 to schedule an appointment or email him at  Watch Dr. Stickney’s video and learn more about him and the services he offers!