The ins and outs of knee surgery and knee cartilage.

The knee is the largest joint in the body – the femur, tibia and patella (knee cap) make up this joint. These bones are lined with cartilage which acts like a shock absorber to allows for a smooth low friction surface for the knee to move on.  Knee surgery can help improve knees and resolve cartilage.

While our cartilage absorbs the shocks our ligaments stabilise the knee joint. Medial and lateral collateral ligaments keep the knee in line. The (internal) anterior and ligaments support the knee from buckling and giving way. To finish, our knee joints are surrounded by a capsule (envelope) that produces a small amount of synovial (lubrication) fluid to help with smooth motion.

knee surgery

Knees are complicated and rely on many different moving parts to ensure they function well. If one of the above is not fully functioning it can have detrimental effects. A common injury is a cartilage tear. This can happen while playing a sport and twisting the knee suddenly or it can simply happen while gardening and getting up from a squatting position.

So how should you be aware of a cartilage tear? Notice the following signs after an incident and be aware it will require follow up from your GP or an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Signs that your cartilage could be damaged:

  • Pain over the torn area i.e. inner or outer side of the knee
  • Knee swelling
  • Reduced motion
  • Locking if the cartilage gets caught between the femur a tibia

It is very important to get cartilage tears treated as once the cartilage has torn it predisposes the knee (or any joint) to develop osteoarthritis (wear and tear) in 15 to 20 years. It is better to resolve the torn pieces immediately if the knee is symptomatic.

This month Ormiston Specialist Centre extended it’s Orthopaedic practice to include Mr Michael Flint and Mr Nick Gormack. Both of these surgeons are able to manage and treat cartilage injuries (among other Orthopaedic conditions) with Knee Arthroscopy surgery. This modern form of treatment involves using a camera and the picture is displayed in high definition on a screen for the surgeon. Recovery is relatively quick (4 – 6 weeks) and makes it very effective with high success rates.

Mr Michael Flint regularly performs this surgery to enable his patients to get back to what they love doing; “Getting on top of these problems early helps us to ensure a quicker recovery time.”

If you are concerned about a knee injury, or have any other hip, shoulder, or joint concern we recommend making a consultation booking with one of our Orthopaedic Surgeons. You can do so by contacting Ormiston Specialist Centre on (09) 271 3305, or ask your GP for a referral.

Or if you know that you need knee surgery on cartilage please speak to us for further information.


Hip Hip Hooray! Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Michael Flint joins Ormiston.

Ormiston’s comprehensive Orthopaedic service has stepped up another notch with the addition of experienced Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Michael Flint.

Mr Flint has been working as an Orthopaedic surgeon for 17 years following fellowship to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2002. Mr Flint has been a Mr Michael Flint Orthopaedic Surgeonconsultant at Middlemore Hospital since 2005 and until recently was the Head of the Middlemore Sarcoma Unit and on the Ministry of Health Tumour Stream Steering Group. His consultation practice has now extended to the East of Auckland through Ormiston Specialist Centre.

As an orthopaedic expert Mr Flint specialises in primary and revision hip and knee joint replacement, sports injuries of the knee and shoulder and musculoskeletal tumour surgery.

Mr Flint is an experienced and skilled surgeon and one of the few proponents in New Zealand of Direct Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery, a minimally invasive muscle sparing technique leading to faster rehabilitation, with less pain and a lower risk of dislocation than standard hip replacement techniques.

He also has vast experience in computer-navigated knee joint replacement, a procedure that enables more accurate alignment of total knee implants.

For patients who have issues with their joint replacements Mr Flint also is skilled in the assessment of and revision surgery for problematic hip and knee joint implants.

He has also stayed current with the latest arthroscopic techniques for dealing with sports knee injuries, rotator cuff and sports shoulder injuries.

He is able to offer services in the following:

  • Direct Anterior Hip Joint Replacement
  • Computer Assisted Knee Joint Replacement
  • Revision Joint Replacement
  • Musculoskeletal Tumour Surgery
  • Sports Knee Injuries
  • Rotator Cuff and Sports Shoulder Surgery

For specialist care closer to home, book in with Mr Michael Flint at Ormiston Specialist Centre or ask your GP for a referral.

Don’t forget we are having an Open Day Saturday 28 March 2020, from 10am – 3pm. This is your chance to explore our Hospital, Theatre and Wards. As well as an opportunity to meet with our wonderful staff. There will be surgeons on site and you can join a tour of the Ormiston Specialist Centre.

View a Theatre up close – our 3D operating Theatre will be open for viewing. This is one of the Theatres used for Orthopaedic surgery and where Mr Michael Flint performs a lot of his operations. It is a modern and well utilised Theatre that demonstrates how far medical technology has come.

We look forward to seeing you.