Cartilage Preservation

By Matt Paulus, MS, ATC, Site Coordinator

Cartilage Overview

Over time, or occasionally with acute injury, we can sustain damage to the cartilage covering the of our bones. Cartilage is a viscoelastic tissue made of collagen. It responds to increasing force loads by increasing its stiffness. With repetitive force, wear can occur resulting in pain and swelling with activity. To help with cartilage preservation, one can avoid any kind of repetitive jarring of the cartilage. For example, this can be like running with poor form.

The anatomy of the knee joint and cartilage.

Image of the Knee Anatomy

Cartilage Preservation – Symptoms of Wear

Some symptoms of cartilage wear and tear include:

  • Pain in the knee, especially with bending.
  • Grinding and popping of the knee with movement.
  • Swelling and/or locking with activity.

If you want to learn more about robotic knee replacement, go to this ARTICLE.

Cartilage Preservation – Treatment and Physical Therapy

Treatment options range from

  • physical therapy
  • over-the-counter pain meds to injections
    • injections may include cortisone or hyaluronate can be used
  • surgery

Furthermore, surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure. This may range from arthroscopy with microfracture or drilling. Also, more advanced cartilage replacement techniques may be performed. The goal behind surgery is to reestablish cartilage coverage over the area of the tear. This will allow the return to sports and other activity in 4-6 months.

Also, if you want to learn more about robotic knee replacement, go to this ARTICLE.

Is your knee painful, catching, popping, and/or swelling? Is it persisting for more than 1-2 weeks? Patients should seek an appointment with a knee specialist. Click here to find a JOI knee specialist.

By: Matt Paulus, MS, ATC, Site Coordinator


All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services. Virtual visits from the convenience of your home. Furthermore, if you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on the your phone, tablet or laptop. Also, our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. Also, to learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

Skip to content