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Treatment of Shin Splints
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Cartilage is a fine, rubbery elastic tissue that acts as cushion between the bones in the joint spaces. It is a connective tissue and enables the joints to move freely and smoothly. It acts as a shock absorber and reduces the friction between the joints. This cartilage could either be damaged as a result of injury or degeneration as part of normal ageing process. Either of this causes friction during joint movement, causing painful, stiff movements and in some cases, even swelling of the joint spaces.
There is also a covering around the joints known as synovium. When there is a cartilage damage, this synovium is irritated, leading to increased secretion of synovial fluid, which can cause swelling in joints. There is also reduction in the range of motion of the affected joint.
Most commonly affected joints include knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and ankles. Other than degeneration that happens with ageing, cartilage damage is mainly caused by injury or trauma including fall/impact, joint dislocation, infection, ligament tear, meniscus tear, and inflammation (gout, arthritis, etc.)
Read on to know some of the most common causes for cartilage damage and ways to manage it.
Age and trauma are the main reasons for cartilage damage.
Direct blow: A heavy blow directly to any joint leads to damage (accident, sports injury, etc.).
Ageing: With constant wear and tear, joints that are under constant stress are prone for damage.
Obesity: This is also a common cause leading to chronic inflammation and breakdown of the joints.
Limited mobility: For whatever reasons (including sedentary lifestyle), lack of movement can cause cartilage damage.
The presenting symptoms of a person with any affected joint would be pain, discomfort and stiffness with movement. In addition to history and physical examination, MRI and arthroscopy can be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Start with a conservative approach and gradually switch to more advanced treatments. Conservative approach includes a combination of pain killers, steroid injections, and exercise (at a clinic or at home). If these do not work, the following surgical options are available:
Debridement: The affected cartilage is smoothened and the loose edges are removed to prevent rubbing and irritation. It is done using a shaver.
Marrow Stimulation: Using the marrow cells, more cartilage production is stimulated. Using tiny drills, holes are drilled to form a blood clot, which triggers formation of new cartilage.
Mosaicplasty: In areas of localized damage, healthy cartilage from an unaffected area is placed.
Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation: Cartilage that is grown in a lab for one to three months are placed into the knee or affected joint to allow for healthy tissue growth. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I am getting severe back pain, couldn't able to sit for long and when I am going for walk within an hour or so I am getting the pain for standing also. Please advise better solution?
I visited an orthopedician for lower back pain (muscles pain). He gave a few medicines and suggested physiotherapy for 10 days which includes TENS.
The human body allows for movement through the complex system of bones, muscles and joints. A break in the bone is medically known as a fracture and can be caused by constant stress, pressure or impact. It is common knowledge that with age, the bone strength decreases and incidence of fractures (osteoporotic fracture) increases. Based on the affected bone and impact, different types of fractures are commonly identified as:
- Complete: When the breakage of the bone is complete, producing two or more pieces, it is referred to as a complete fracture.
- Incomplete: When the breakage is incomplete, where the bone has cracked, but does not break into pieces, it is known as an incomplete fracture.
- Another type would be the open or closed fracture:
- Open fracture: When the skin is exposed and the bone breaks through this exposed skin, it is known as compound or open fracture.
- Simple or closed fracture: The bone breaks, but the skin continuity is maintained. Again, here are different types including hairline, greenstick, oblique, etc.
What is the reason behind a fracture?
A bone will fracture when force is applied to it that is stronger than the bone itself. A key factor in a bone’s susceptibility to fracturing is age. Both children and older people are prone to bone fractures. Children’s bones are constantly growing and have not reached their full strength. Elderly people have brittle bones with old age and are prone to develop bone diseases, making them susceptible to fractures.
How they are treated?
Splint and pain medications are commonly used. Closed reduction where the fracture is reduced without opening up the tissues and open reduction, where the tissues are opened up are common approaches to managing fractures.
Can they be prevented?
Especially with children and in the elderly, extra precaution should be taken to avoid any kind of injury and fracture.
- Develop an exercise routine to strengthen the muscles
- Manage weight
- Use the right footwear and exercise gear
- Watch your medications (avoid sleep inducing ones)
- Increase lighting in the room/home to improve clarity of vision for elderly
- Make the home/living area fall-proof by reducing clutter, using railing in the bathroom and bedrRhinoplastyoom, using rubber mat, etc.
- While a fall may seem inevitable, taking the above steps can help reduce the incidence and severity of a fall, thereby minimizing damage.