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 Cartilage of the Knee 

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
JOI Rehab Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL

Anatomy of knee joint

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.

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

Related Articles: Psoas Strain, Hip Flexor Strain and 23 Hour Total Knee Replacement. 

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