By Tom Keppeler, Knee1 Staff
San Diego Sharks player Teemu Selanne underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday night to remove loose bits of cartilage in the hockey player's left knee.
Selanne, who was traded Monday from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, is expected to miss two weeks of play, returning just in time for the home stretch to the playoffs. "This is a minor procedure," Sharks Pro Development Director Doug Wilson told the San Jose Mercury News. "…Rather than have a problem rear its head in the playoffs, we're going to take care of it now."
Selanne had been experiencing soreness in his knee since the time of the trade, a bombshell deal that sent two Sharks players and a conditional second-round draft pick to Anaheim for Selanne. A physical examination revealed loose bits of cartilage in the knee known as loose bodies, which may aggravate tissues in the knee, causing pain and soreness. An MRI last week revealed no structural damage to the ligaments in the knee. Although Selanne could have played the remainder of the season without the surgery, Sharks officials wanted the high-scorer at his physical peak during the playoffs.
Loose bodies are caused by a number of factors, including degenerative diseases of the cartilage such as chondromalacia patellae, or, as is most likely in this case, overuse. Caused by small pieces of flaking off from the cartilage that covers the bones in the leg, loose bodies irritate the tissues in the knee and can cause pain, swelling, and, eventually, locking of the joint.