Knee Cartilage Injury – Frisco, TX
The knee is one of the largest weight bearing joint in the humans which is the point of confluence for the patella (knee cap), femur (thigh bone) and the shin bone (lower leg). The joint is supported by ligaments, tendons and muscles while a thick lining of membrane tissue lines the joints and prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. The cartilage performs the task of shock absorber and protects the knee against external injuries. The cartilage is called menisci and they are thick C-shaped pads that lie in the outer and inner parts of the knee. Thinner cartilage lining called the articular cartilage is also present and it forms a protective lining between the long bones. Any injury to these disrupts smooth functioning of the knee joint.

Causes Of Knee Cartilage Injury

  • Natural wear and tear over the time makes the cartilage prone to injuries as they become weak with constant use and weigh bearing. This is most common in people suffering from arthritis
  • Sedentary life and extended period of inactivity may damage the menisci
  • A direct fall on the knee may cause a tear or break in the cartilage
  • Sports activities or exercising can cause cartilage tears/damage due to overuse, twisting and excessive running. These activities cause repeated minor injuries and eventually results in cartilage loss

Symptoms Of Knee Cartilage Injury

  • Pain occurs constantly and is increased if the knee has to bear the body weight
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Grinding or cracking sensation is felt when the knee is bent or straightened
  • Locking of the knee may be experienced

Diagnosis Of Knee Cartilage Injury

  • Detailed clinical evaluation of the injured knee, patient’s medical history and past injuries besides his/her lifestyle
  • X-ray imaging is done to assess the changes or damage in bone structure
  • MRI ad CT scan may be required for a detailed view of the soft tissue structures
  • Physical tests may be conducted to check for the movements that aggravate pain and the extent of  loss of motion
  • Arthroscopy may be conducted to get the exact view of the internal knee structure

Treatment For Knee Cartilage Injury

  • Pain killers and anti inflammatory medicines are generally prescribed
  • Rest the knee by keeping it elevated at chest level. Weight bearing should be avoided and crutches can be used for the same
  • Soft compression bandage may be used
  • Apply ice packs for first 24-72 hours
  • Some specific exercises and physical therapy can be helpful in restoring flexibility and strengthening the supporting muscles and ligaments
  • Steroids may be injected directly into the joint which provides instant relief from the symptoms
  • Surgical debridement- the loose parts or edges of the cartilage can be removed to prevent them from hindering bone movement
  • Autologous implantation- a part of the damaged cartilage may be extracted, regrown in a laboratory using cell multiplication method and then again transplanted into the joint
  • Mosaicplasty- healthy cartilage is extracted for some other body joint and transplanted into the damaged knee. This is done only if the extent of damage is small