What is Articular Cartilage Injury?
Cartilage is an important structural unit of the body. It is present in places like the joints, the spine, the end of ribs, in the bronchial tubes, and the ear and the nose. Cartilages are firm, but flexible tissues. There are many types of cartilages found in the body. Among them, articular cartilages are the ones that are present on the surface of the bones. As the name suggests articular cartilages exist to render articulation to the bones and retain their lubrication. Complexities arise when these cartilages are damaged, behind which many causes can play an active role. For example, a sports injury can damage the cartilages around the knees. Other causes include the twisting of the Anterior cruciate ligament and a progressive knee injury. Articular Cartilage Injury can also be an isolated event.
Since there are no blood vessels in the cartilages, it takes quite long for them to heal. Symptoms Pain and inflammation of the knee Locking of the knee Generation of noises when the knee is moved
The best treatment option for damaged cartilages is RICE therapy if the injury is not too severe. rice can be broken down into Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
For severe cases, interventional methods like osteochondritis dissecans surgery might be attempted. The objective of this surgery is to attach the detached fragment. Another surgery that works to restore the damaged cartilage is marrow stem cell transplant whereby the stem cell is implanted in the cartilage defect. Multiple arthroscopic modalities of treatment are now available for cartilage repair which are customised according to the specific condition.