Located in our knee are cartilage tissues that act as shock absorbers. These shock absorbers are tough but yet flexible tissues that are located throughout our body, covering all the surfaces of our joint in order to facilitate the smooth gliding motion of our bones. It is because of these cartilage tissues that we are able to jump and run without experiencing pain. One downside of it is that the tissues do not have their own blood supply. This means that once they are injured or damaged, the healing process is extremely slow. Someone who has a damaged cartilage tissue will then experience pain during periods of motion. One of the most common places of injury is the knee and we will look into the causes and symptoms in this article.
Knee cartilage injuries are usually articular cartilage damages. The articular cartilage is a soft and springy type of cartilage located between the joints and is a common yet serious form of damage. The result is swelling, pain and loss of mobility in the knee. Injuries can occur mainly from three main forms – osteoarthritis, osteochondritis dissecans and sudden trauma. Osteoarthritis is a form of long-term damage and is specially targeted towards patients who have had their knee meniscus removed or are overweight. Osteochondritis dissecans occurs when a part of the cartilage and a piece of attached bone breaks away from the joint. Lastly, trauma occurs during high impact activities such as sports. Sports players are at a higher risk due to the high levels of risk they face.
The symptoms for damaged knee cartilage are pretty similar to most forms of knee injuries. The first and foremost symptom is the onset of pain. This pain is increased when an attempt to straighten the knee is made, resulting in the inability to walk properly and bear full body weight on the knee itself. The swelling will also happen due to the increase in blood flow to the knee in order to combat infection. There may also be a creaking or cracking sound when you are moving the knee joint.
Cartilage damage is common among people and most people with mild damages do not seek medical help. The number of patients with this form of injury is most prevalent in patients under the age of 35 as that age group leads the most active lifestyle, with men at a much higher risk than women.