Have you experienced a knee injury?
Does this injury impact your ability to walk or continue on with other everyday activities? If so, you may have a knee cartilage injury. Although these types of injuries are relatively common, it is important to get the facts so you can seek the proper treatment options for your condition.
What is Knee Cartilage?
Causes of a Knee Cartilage Injury
- Joint Dislocation: An injury in which a joint is forced out of its normal position.
- Meniscus Tear: An injury, usually a forceful twist, which tears a particular piece of knee cartilage.
- Impact: A fall or blow can dislocate or tear the cartilage.
- Infection: A condition called septic arthritis, involving inflammation of the joint.
- Inflammation: Most forms of arthritis include this painful swelling which affects the cartilage
Symptoms of a Knee Cartilage Injury
Treatment Options for Cartilage Injuries
- Non-Operative Treatments: For less severe injuries, some combination of non-operative treatment options can be effective to reduce pain and increase mobility. These options may include rest, lifestyle modification and weight loss, anti-inflammatory medication, or physical therapy.
- Arthroscopy: This surgical procedure can be used to “smooth” the injured cartilage. Although new cartilage cannot grow to take the place of the injured piece, scar tissue may appear; arthroscopy can smooth this out to promote a more natural, pain-free movement of the knee.
- Transplant: In cases where the cartilage cannot be repaired through arthroscopic surgery, it is possible to transplant some cartilage from an uninjured part of the knee. A similar option would be to remove some normal cartilage cells, reproduce them in a lab, and then later reimplant them into the damaged area so new cartilage will grow.
- Knee Replacement: If more conservative treatment options are unsuccessful, and the cartilage in severely damaged or worn away, your doctor may talk with you about knee replacement. In this surgical procedure, the injured joint is removed and replaced by a prosthetic joint which can recreate healthy movement of the knee.