Cartilage Injury

Injury to the cartilage can be because of a trauma, degenerative arthritis or a chronic overuse.

 

Cartilage is a type of connective tissue and there are different types of cartilage that serves different purpose in the body.

 

The knee joint has two types of cartilage:

 

  • Articular Cartilage- An articular cartilage forms the smooth layer of the joint that covers the ends of the three bones femur- the thigh bone, tibia –the shin bone & the patella (knee cap).
  • Meniscus- Meniscus is an another kind of cartilage that forms a shock absorber between the bones. The meniscus is not adhered to the bones like the articular cartilage, rather it sits between the bone ends to provide cushioning to the joint.

 

Cartilage Injury

 

Injury to the cartilage can be due to:

 

  • Trauma – after a fall, fracture.
  • Degenerative Arthritis- age related wear & tear.
  • Auto Immune – like rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Symptoms

 

Pain – Pain mainly on loading the joint during walk, long standing & stairs climbing.

 

Clicking or Catching – due to a torn meniscus which is torn & lifted up from its normal positions.

 

Treatment

 

The damage to the cartilage whether it is meniscus or articular cartilage, needs addressal.

 

Depending on the types whether traumatic or degenerative, the surgeon will decide the treatment plan. Most of the degenerative cartilage injury whether meniscus or articular cartilage are managed conservatively with NSAID’s and physiotherapy.

 

A traumatic cartilage injury needs a surgical intervention.