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Have you undergone cartilage damage recently and are seeking ideal treatment measures? Cartilage damage is a common form of injury that involves your knees. Other joints such as the ankles, elbows and hips may also be affected by cartilage damage. Cartilage, the tough and flexible tissues covering the surface of your joints, acts as a shock absorber, allowing the bones to slide over each other. Cartilage damage may occur because of injuries such as a gradual wear, sports injuries and osteoarthritis. While acute cartilage damage may heal on its own, severe damage may need treatment via surgical measures.
- Physiotherapy is effective when you experience difficulty in moving your affected joint.
- It is also an important part of recovery if you have to undergo surgical procedures for treating cartilage damage.
- A physiotherapist will teach you certain exercises that are effective for strengthening the muscles that surround and support your affected joint.
- This helps in reducing pain and pressure on the joint.
- Severe and serious cartilage damage does not heal effectively on its own, and a surgery may be required for treatment.
- Usually, surgery is performed by using Arthroscopy. This is a form of keyhole surgery in which certain instruments are inserted into your affected joint via incisions or small cuts.
- In some cases, larger incisions have to be made.
- Such surgeries are carried out after giving general anesthesia to the patient.
The most common surgeries that are undertaken in cases of cartilage damage include the following:
Lavage and debridement
- In this form of surgery, your joint is cleaned for the removal of any loose tissues.
- The damaged edges are trimmed to be made smooth. Sometimes, the damage may also be repaired during the same time.
- In this procedure, tiny holes are made on the bone beneath your damaged cartilage that releases the bone marrow in it.
- The marrow cells stimulate the production of new cartilage.
- In this procedure, small plugs of healthy cartilage from areas of a joint that are non-weight bearing are removed and used for replacing areas of the affected cartilage.
- This procedure involves the alteration of the alignment of your leg for reducing pressure on the damaged area.
- It is effective in improving pain.
- A wedge of bone may be removed or added from your thigh bone or shin bone.
- The bone gets fixed with a plate till it gets healed.
In some cases, a joint replacement surgery has to be carried out. In this procedure, the entire affected joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint. Hip replacement and knee replacement are common examples of this kind of surgery.
The human body stands on the foundation made in the framework of bones. If bones are strong and healthy, you get the additional support to lead a healthy life, go through daily and rigorous activities, and participate in all such events and things which challenge your strength and balance. Most importantly, you get the confidence to go on. But when bones are weak, decayed, depleting, or getting porous, affected from diseases, your whole system may collapse due to its effects, or you may get partially handicapped. Pains and sufferings automatically come with the bone diseases. Hence, to know how to protect your bones from the deadly diseases, and the most common and devastating one, which is Osteoporosis, read on.
The growth and life of bones
Bones are living tissues in the body, which keep on growing, and cells keep on multiplying, regenerating, and replace old and dead cells with new ones. When the natural rhythm is maintained you are safe from bone diseases and have healthy bones.
The frequency of bone diseases and Osteoporosis
Every year almost 1.5 million people from around the world suffer from bone fractures, and the most likely reason for this among people over thirties is osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Bone cell structure under the microscope is a mesh network, where the cells are joined together to form a smart network of support. In Osteoporosis, the bones stop growing or get depleted. Due to any of the two reasons which may again be induced by other factors, the holes between the mesh formed by bone cells grow bigger. As a result, the bones lose density, mass and strength, and get into such a state that they may collapse under normal pressure anytime. This is more common in women who lose calcium (an important ingredient for healthy bones) after their thirties.
How to keep your bones healthy and fight Osteoporosis?
The best thing you can do to prevent osteoporosis is:
- Monitor diet to see that your body gets important bone forming ingredients like vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus
- Do regular exercises to keep fit and promote blood circulation through bones
- Get a health checkup done every few years to ensure your bones are okay
If you get a fracture easily or pain in the bones, you may be suffering from osteoporosis and must arrange for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible to prevent further weakening of the bones.
Have you suffered from a dislocated kneecap and are looking for effective treatment options? A dislocated kneecap is a very common form of injury that takes around six weeks time to heal. It is generally caused by a blow or a change in direction when your leg is planted on the ground. Such injuries are common during sports and dancing. The patella or knee cap, which sits at the front of the knee, glides over a groove in your joint, on straightening or bending your leg. Dislocations make it come out of the groove, leading to the tearing of the supporting tissues.
- When your kneecap gets dislocated, it is likely to look out of place, or the angle will seem odd.
- Other symptoms include severe knee pain, inability to walk, swelling of the knee, inability to straighten the knee, and a popping sensation in the knee.
- A dislocated knee cap is not something very serious and it pops back in place on its own in many cases. However, it is recommended for you to get it diagnosed and treated by a health professional.
- In case your knee cap goes back into place on its own, you should visit a minor injuries unit or MIU, or an accident and emergency department.
- If your kneecap does not go back into place by itself, you need to call an ambulance and avoid trying to put it back in place by yourself.
- On the way to the hospital, or while you wait for the ambulance to arrive, you should sit, keeping your leg in a position that is most comfortable for you.
- If your kneecap does not correct itself by the time you reach a hospital, it has to be manipulated back in place by a doctor. This process is called reduction.
- You will be given medication to ensure that you keep relaxed and free from pain during the procedure.
- After the knee cap is put back in place, an X-ray has to be undertaken to check out if your bones are in the right position. Signs of other damages are also analysed.
- After the procedure, you will be prescribed painkillers. Your leg will be immobile and put in a removable splint for some time.
- For effective recovery, you should undergo physiotherapy for several weeks.
A surgery for a dislocated kneecap may only be required to be undertaken in case of a fracture or associated injuries like a ligament tear. A surgery may also be required in case you had experienced a knee cap dislocation in the past. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
A Tennis elbow is a painful condition that affects the tendons due to a condition known as tendinitis, which causes inflammation. This condition will end up restricting the free movement of the elbow and the arm due to the pain and stiffness that it causes. This is due to the fact that these tendons are the tough band of connective tissues that hold the muscles and the lower arm with the bone. Repeated gripping motions and continued tugging as well as activities like weight lifting, tennis, squash and other like carpentry, painting writing and typing, can lead to this condition.
Here are a few methods of treatment and the questions that revolve around them.
- Do I have to restrict my movements: Yes, when you have tennis elbow, the very first thing you must do is to give rest to the tendons by curbing those activities that have caused the condition or those which can aggravate the pain and stiffness. Lifting heavy objects, gripping things for prolong periods, other physical pursuits like tennis and other games and more will need to stop so that you do not stretch, strain or pull the tissue.
- Can I take pain killers: Yes, you can take pain killers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen in case the pain is unbearable? Always ensure that an orthopaedic specialist takes a look at your arm before prescribing the medicines to you.
- Is an ice compress good for this pain: You can use the RICE method for acute pain that is less than 72 hours old. For more persistent pain, you must see a doctor. The RICE method refers to Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. In this method, you can keep your arm elevated and give it rest. You can also use an ice compress and keep it tightly wound with an elastic bandage so as to avoid swelling.
- Can I take injections for this condition: Corticosteroid injections may be used for very severe cases. This contains the cortisol hormone and can give good results in the short run.
- Are there any non invasive methods for treatment: You can try non-invasive procedures like shock wave therapy which will help in fixing the pain and promote motion gradually. This procedure is usually conducted with the help of shock waves that are passed to the skin.
- Is exercising a complete no no: In this case, many orthopaedic surgeons and doctors will ask you to go through physiotherapy so that you can get used to movements and motion after prolonged pain. These exercises will also strengthen the muscles of the area.
Talk to your doctor if the pain is particularly debilitating and discuss surgery for the same.