Header image of tennis court for FAQ


What is the cartilage in the knee, and have I torn mine?

Meniscal cartilage is a shock absorber and there are a pair inside your knee. They can tear in sporting accidents and in day to day life. The knee then develops a new pain or mechanical symptom like ‘clicking’ or ‘catching.’

Why does my knee hurt?

There are many reasons why a knee becomes painful, from damage to the surface of the joint, to damage to cartilage or ligaments. Sometimes a knee is painful due to muscle inbalance. An experienced and thorough assessor can focus on the problem.

Will I be able to explore other options for treatment before I decide on surgery?

There will always be as much time as is necessary to explore all treatment options in clinic. No treatments are embarked upon until the patient is entirely happy with their consultation and explanation.

What is the ACL and why do I need one?

The ACL is responsible for rotatory stability in the knee. Its job is to stop the knee buckling when you pivot or twist on your knee. Walking in a straight line is possible without your ACL; but in most people, any sport or job asking more than this, and anything with a change of direction, the knee cannot function safely without an ACL.

Can you repair (meniscal) cartilage?

The shock absorbing meniscal cartilage can be repaired in some people, in some age groups, and if treated early enough. Results of repair are not perfect and attempts at repair are only performed if there is a good chance of success.

Am I too old for keyhole ligament surgery?

The decision to operate on a knee is made on the patient’s pre-injury state. If you are a fit active person wanting to get back to your activity, then your age alone is no barrier to surgery.

Can you be too young for a knee replacement?

If the knee is worn out and there is no alternative to knee replacement (eg re-aligning the leg with an osteotomy) then knee replacement can be performed in any age group. One must consider how long the knee replacement will last before committing to this surgery, however.

How quickly can I return to work or drive a car after my keyhole surgery?

This depends on what surgery has been performed. You must be able to perform an ‘emergency stop’ in the car. Usually for plain keyhole surgery it is 10-14 days and for ligament reconstruction on the right leg, 6 weeks. Mr Hage will advise on this at the clinic appointment and at any stage afterwards.

How long do knee replacements last?

How long is a piece of string? Although we know that at least 90% of knee replacements in an average retired person last 10 years and probably close to 90% last 15 years. It depends on the work that the knee replacement is asked to do in the years after the operation.

How do I know Mr Hage is a safe and reliable surgeon?

Mr Hage is regularly measured (or audited) by external assessors in the course of his NHS and private work. These checks make sure he is as safe, or better, than the nationally accepted figures for surgery. He submits data to the national ligament and joint replacement databases which follow safety targets. In addition Mr Hage measures his own internal success rates and satisfaction scores to make sure he is delivering on what he offers to patients.

How long will I be in hospital after my operation?

The average for arthroscopy is about 3 hours, for ligament reconstruction about half of patients go home the same day, and for knee replacement with our enhanced recovery protocol, the average length of stay is just over 3 days.