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Cartilage Surgery Health Feed

How To Look After Your Joints As You Age?

How To Look After Your Joints As You Age?

Skin is one of the most obvious parts of our body which ages with an increase in the number of candles on our birthday cakes. As you age, joints tend to become stiffer and less flexible. The body does not recover from bumps and bruises as easily as it did before, and it becomes difficult to stand for extended time intervals. This is caused mostly by a breakdown of cartilage and inflammation of the synovium.

What is cartilage?
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue. It connects the ends of two bones in a joint. It is softer than bone tissue but less flexible than muscle tissue. Cartilage is responsible for the smooth movement of joints. 
With age, cartilage begins to degenerate. As the cartilage gets thinner, movement becomes more and more difficult. If left untreated, the cartilage may completely wear off leaving no buffer between the bones. This is one of the leading causes of knee replacement surgery

What is synovium?
Synovium is a membrane responsible for keeping the cartilage healthy. It produces a thick fluid that keeps the cartilage and joint lubricated. In cases of osteoarthritis, this membrane can swell up and produce excess fluid. This in turn causes the joint to swell as well. 
Along with age, factors like being overweight, genetics, gender and lifestyle also play a role in the condition of your joints. Being obese points towards a sedentary lifestyle and puts extra pressure on joints, leading to the thinning of cartilage. While men have higher chances of becoming osteoarthritis patients before 45, women have higher chances of developing this disease after 50. A healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to ensure that your joints work well even when you're old and grey. 

Exercise
Movement of the joints keeps the fluid in them moving. It also prevents the cartilage from shrinking and stiffening up. Exercise also makes the bones stronger, and slows the rate of bone tissue deterioration. Stretching exercises are also a good way to maintain the flexibility of joints. 

Healthy diet

Foods that are known as natural anti histamines, antioxidants and foods that fight inflammation promote healthy joints. Some of these are:
-  Green tea: It prevents the breakdown of collagen and cartilage
-  Nuts and seeds: These are rich in omega 3 fats that are essential for good bone health
-  Ginger: It relieves pain and joint swelling
-  Yogurt: It helps soothe tender joints and fights inflammation
-  Pomegranate: It protects the cartilage against damage


Hot and cold therapy can also help relieve joint pain and reduce inflammation. As you get older, avoid putting too much pressure on your joints and give them adequate rest. Lastly, avoid smoking, as people who smoke have an increased risk of cartilage loss.

3797 people found this helpful

Cartilage Damage - How To Resolve It?

Cartilage Damage - How To Resolve It?

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 gradual wear, sports injuries and osteoarthritis. While acute cartilage damage may heal on its own, severe damage may need treatment via surgical measures.

Treatment

Physiotherapy

  • 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.

Surgery

  • Severe and serious cartilage damage does not heal effectively on its own, and 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 at the same time.

Marrow stimulation

  • 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.

Mosaicplasty

  • 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.

Osteotomy

  • 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 until it gets healed.

In some cases, 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.

2527 people found this helpful

Damaged Cartilage - Know Role Of PRICE Therapy In It!

Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue found throughout the body. It acts as a cushion between the bones and covers the surface of the joints. People having damaged cartilage often suffer from inflammation, stiffness and pain in joints.

What causes damage to the cartilage?

  • Direct blow: When the bones suffer from a direct blow during an accident or fall, the cartilage can get damaged. Athletes have a high risk of having damaged cartilage, particular those involved in wrestling, rugby, and football.
  • Wear and tear: Cartilage can get damaged due to excess stress on the bones over a period of time. Obese people are at high risk of having damaged knee cartilage as there is excess pressure on their knees.
  • Lack of movement: Lack of movement or immobility can increase the risk of damaged cartilage.

What are the symptoms of damaged cartilage?

  • You may suffer from joint pain which increases during walking or when you put on weight.
  • Swelling of the joint is a common symptom of damaged cartilage.
  • You may feel the stiffness of joints.
  • Your joint may get locked.
  • A click or grinding sensation on your joint.

How can you diagnose that you have damaged cartilage?
With the help of many non-invasive tests, your doctor can diagnose whether you have damaged cartilage or not. Some of the common tests carried out to diagnose damaged cartilage include Arthroscopy and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

What are the treatments available for damaged cartilage?
Treatment for damaged cartilage depends on the severity of the case and if you have injured your joint and still can walk and put on weight, you can be treated with PRICE therapy. PRICE stands for:

  • Protection: You have to keep your injured joint protected from further injuries with the help of a knee brace or support.
  • Rest: Give ample rest to the affected area for the initial three-four days. After that, you can move into your daily activities again.
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the affected area every three-four areas. This will help in soothing the inflammation and reduce the soothing.
  • Compression: Compress, or bandage the affected area with an elastic bandage to avoid swelling and movement of the area.
  • Elevation: Keep the affected area raised with the help of a pillow to reduce swelling.

Physiotherapy can be helpful in strengthening the muscles around the affected joint. Your doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist who can treat you at your home. Severe cartilage damages need to be treated with surgery.

3395 people found this helpful

Knee Preserving Surgeries (High Tibial Osteotomy, Cartilage Repair) - All About Them!

Knee Preserving Surgeries (High Tibial Osteotomy, Cartilage Repair) - All About Them!

Surgery for joint preservation is used to repair damaged articular cartilage because of osteoarthritis and malalignment. High Tibial Osteotomy is a medical or surgical method to realign the knee joint. This surgery especially helps people with knee arthritis to avoid knee replacement surgery, either partial or total, by maintaining injured joint tissues.

People suffering from degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis encounter a high crushing of the articular cartilage and menisci that can result in their tearing. Unbalanced forces lead to unwarranted pressure on the knee resulting in mal-alignment.  

High Tibial Osteotomy as an Alternative to Knee Replacement:

High Tibial Osteotomy is usually performed on younger people suffering from mal-alignment or arthritis. The plastic and metal parts used in the total knee transplant surgery have a life expectancy of 15-20 years that might result in another knee transplant surgery for a younger patient. That is why high Tibial Osteotomy is referred to the younger patients until knee replacement becomes unavoidable.

Through High Tibial Osteotomy, the knee is re-aligned to take the pressure off the injured side of the knee. One will have to go through some medical tests before the surgery to know the actual condition of the injury. If the mal-alignment of the knee is not treated, it can make difficult for the patients to perform their daily tasks even walking.

Who Are Eligible for High Tibial Osteotomy?

HTO or High Tibial Osteotomy of the knee is more appropriate for young, active people. Patients who do not feel pain under their knee cap and only on a single part of the knee are permitted for knee osteotomy. They should be able to bend and straighten their knees completely. One should consult their doctor before confirming the type of surgery they will be going for as not everyone is suitable for High Tibial Osteotomy depending upon the severity and overall health of the patient.

Types of Osteotomy Surgeries:

  1. Closed Osteotomy Surgery: The most commonly osteotomy procedure used is a closed wedge osteotomy where the wedge bone is replaced through guide wires. The bones are then closed to fill the gap with the removal of the wedge.

  2. Open Osteotomy Surgery: In this type of osteotomy surgery, the bone wedge is opened to add a bone graft to block up the space with the removal of the wedge.

Advantages:

  1. An effective osteotomy postpones the need for knee replacement surgery.

  2. No physical restrictions have been posted for the surgery.

Disadvantages:

  1. Unpredictable pain post surgery

  2. Longer healing time than partial or total knee replacement surgery

  3. Difficulty in bearing weight on the operated knee

Post-Operative Care:

  1. Physical joint exercises

  2. Protective weight bearing exercises

  3. Use of crutches or walkers as assistive devices

  4. Radiography to correct maintenance of bone  

  5. Pain medications

Take Away:

High Tibial Osteotomy Surgery is performed to avoid Total or Partial Knee Replacement Surgery. This type of surgery is mostly performed on young patients. For most sufferers, this alternative has proven to be working to relieve pain. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before opting for this surgery.

3860 people found this helpful

Know The Reasons Behind Cartilage Damage!

Know The Reasons Behind Cartilage Damage!

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.

Causes:

Age and trauma are the main reasons for cartilage damage.

  1. Direct blow: A heavy blow directly to any joint leads to damage (accident, sports injury, etc.).

  2. Ageing: With constant wear and tear, joints that are under constant stress are prone for damage.

  3. Obesity: This is also a common cause leading to chronic inflammation and breakdown of the joints.

  4. Limited mobility: For whatever reasons (including sedentary lifestyle), lack of movement can cause cartilage damage.

Diagnosis:

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.

Treatment:

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:

  1. Debridement: The affected cartilage is smoothened and the loose edges are removed to prevent rubbing and irritation. It is done using a shaver.

  2. 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.

  3. Mosaicplasty: In areas of localized damage, healthy cartilage from an unaffected area is placed.

  4. 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.  

4579 people found this helpful

Arthroscopic Surgeries For Sports Injury - What Should You Know?

Arthroscopic Surgeries For Sports Injury - What Should You Know?

When it comes to contact sports like football or basketball, orthopaedic injuries are unavoidable. Given the high risk of falling and accidents and wear and tear of muscles, injuries like stress fractures, torn ligaments, ACL tears and chronic pain are common complaints a sports doctor comes across. Sports medicine is a specialisation of this field that deals exclusively with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries sustained while playing sports. A sports doctor must not only treat an injury but must also speed up the healing process so as to allow their patients to return to the field as quickly as possible.

When it comes to surgeries for sports injuries, the smaller the incision made, the faster an injury will heal. This has led to the popularisation of minimally invasive surgeries. Arthroscopy is one such type of minimally invasive surgery that is used by doctors to diagnose and treat joint injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.

This procedure is typically performed on a patient under general or spinal anaesthesia. When being used to diagnose a condition, it involves the insertion of a thin fibre optic tube with a light, magnifying lens and camera into the body through a small incision no bigger than a button hole. This allows the doctors to examine the bone and joint in detail. In cases where this type of surgery is being used to treat a patient, specially designed instruments may also be inserted through an additional small incision to repair the injury.

Arthroscopic surgeries for sports injuries are often used in combination with other approaches or open surgery. One of the most common conditions, this type of surgery is used to treat are ligaments in the knee. Other conditions that can also be treated with arthroscopic surgeries are torn cartilage, inflammation of the joint lining, carpal tunnel syndrome, tears in the rotator cuffs and loosening of bones and cartilage.

After the surgery, the incision will be stitched shut and a dressing will be placed over it. In most cases, patients require almost no pain medication as compared to the medication needed to recover from open surgery.

However, it can take several days for the joint to recover and for the incision to heal. Some of the benefits of this kind of surgery are:

  1. Faster healing
  2. Minimal scarring
  3. Lesser blood loss
  4. No danger of cutting muscles or tendons
  5. More comfortable rehabilitation
  6. Faster return to the sports field
2776 people found this helpful

How To Deal With Damaged Cartilage?

How To Deal With Damaged Cartilage?

Cartilage is an important structural component of human body. It is found in various parts of body like joints, end of ribs, nose, ears, and airway tube.

Knee joint contains 2 types of cartilage. 1st is the type which lines the surface of bones. 2nd type lies between the two joint forming bones and is called Meniscus. This article is about 1st type which is also called as articular cartilage.

Articular cartilage works as a lubricated surface and reduces joint friction. It plays a role of a cushion and absorbs shock. A healthy cartilage ensures smooth and pain free motion of a joint.

Cartilage can get damaged by injury, ageing, infection and rheumatological disorders. Injury is a common culprit in young age especially in a sports person. Cartilage injury can manifest itself with pain swelling, locking of joint and inability to put load on affected leg.

Cartilage damage is often not visible in X-rays and a MRI may be suggested by your doctor. Initial management of cartilage injury is similar to other limb injuries.

  1. Cold compress: Application of cooling pad or simple ice helps with reduction of swelling and pain.
  2. Support: Type of support needed for limb depend on severity of injury. If associated with severe pain or instability a splint can be applied (for e.g. a “cricket pad” splint or a hinge knee brace).
  3. Rest: Rest is usually advised in initial management. In mild damages early motion of joint is advised. Physiotherapy also helps in keeping the strength of limb and reducing stiffness of joint.
  4. Surgery: Unfortunately cartilage tissue does not have self healing properties. Number of surgical techniques can be used and choice depends on location size and depth of cartilage damage. Age of patient, physical fitness and age of injury also play a vital role in decision making. Some surgical options are:
  • Encouraging growth of new cartilage by drilling multiple holes. This also known as micro-fracture technique and can be done via key hole surgery (arthroscopy).
  • Often removal of torn cartilage and smoothening of any rough area is simplest option. This protects joint from secondary damage from any loose torn cartilage. This can be achieved arthroscopically and recovery is quick.
  • Implantation of Cartilage: This complex expensive procedure requiring multiple surgeries. Initially a small cartilage is taken from patients joint itself and grown in vitro (In lab). It is implanted inside a cartilage defect with a membrane acting as a structural support. This procedure has longer recovery time and variable success rate.
  • Cartilage transfer: Osteochondral auto graft (bone with cartilage) is taken from a non weight bearing area and implanted in (plugged in) the cartilage defect. This surgery also has variable success rate and a slow recovery.

 

2452 people found this helpful

6 Ways To Deal With Torn Cartilage!

6 Ways To Deal With Torn Cartilage!

Torn cartilages are quite a common form of injury occurring in the human body. While one can’t always be too cautious of injuries, one can still try to be conscious of their muscles and do not move about in an abrupt manner to cause injury to themselves. Further, even though torn cartilages are very common, they are quite painful and most often they occur in the knee. Here are some tips to ensure that your torn cartilage heals well and you are exposed to less pain during the healing period:

  1. Rest: You must take rest. While it is advised to take bed rest, humanly it is impossible to spend all day in bed. Thus one can move about a little but avoid walking and straining their legs and knee too much. At times crutches can be taken while taking a few steps in the room.

  2. Ice Therapy: Putting ice bags in the affected area helps in relaxing the muscles and reducing the pain quite a lot. Though previously people adhered to putting hot water bags, the scenario is slowly changing to ice therapy.

  3. Compress: When you are suffering from a torn cartilage, the doctor often puts a bandage on the knee to compress the area. This is done so that the muscles are brought together and they can heal on their own with time and rest.

  4. Elevate the Knee: Often it is seen that during such cases, the knee or the hands are rested in an elevated platform. This platform is created with the help of a pillow mostly. This lets the cartilage get time to rest and heal on its own.

  5. Avoid Strenuous Activities: This includes jumping, running, jogging, kicking etc, when it comes to the legs and writing, lifting weight etc. when it comes to the hands. These activities require a lot of strength and power and most of all the use of the cartilages. Since the cartilages are torn and in their healing mode, it is best to avoid such activities for a certain amount of time to not put pressure on the cartilages and damage them further.

  6. Painkillers: It has been already mentioned that the healing period can be painful. Thus, the doctor may prescribe some painkillers to ease the pain during this time.

Thus, these are some of the easiest ways to deal with a torn cartilage. The recovery period may be painful, but it happens to many people and is completely healable in nature.

4118 people found this helpful

Cartilage Injuries - How Can They Be Treated?

Cartilage Injuries - How Can They Be Treated?

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.

Causes:

Age and trauma are the main reasons for cartilage damage.

  1. Direct blow: A heavy blow directly to any joint leads to damage (accident, sports injury, etc.).
  2. Ageing: With constant wear and tear, joints that are under constant stress are prone for damage.
  3. Obesity: This is also a common cause leading to chronic inflammation and breakdown of the joints.
  4. Limited mobility: For whatever reasons (including sedentary lifestyle), lack of movement can cause cartilage damage.

Diagnosis:

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.

Treatment:

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:

  1. Debridement: The affected cartilage is smoothened and the loose edges are removed to prevent rubbing and irritation. It is done using a shaver.
  2. 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.
  3. Mosaicplasty: In areas of localized damage, healthy cartilage from an unaffected area is placed.
  4. 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.  

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2609 people found this helpful

Cartilage Damage - What Causes It?

Cartilage Damage - What Causes It?

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.

Causes:

Age and trauma are the main reasons for cartilage damage.

  1. Direct blow: A heavy blow directly to any joint leads to damage (accident, sports injury, etc.).
  2. Ageing: With constant wear and tear, joints that are under constant stress are prone for damage.
  3. Obesity: This is also a common cause leading to chronic inflammation and breakdown of the joints.
  4. Limited mobility: For whatever reasons (including sedentary lifestyle), lack of movement can cause cartilage damage.

Diagnosis:

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.

Treatment:

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:

  1. Debridement: The affected cartilage is smoothened and the loose edges are removed to prevent rubbing and irritation. It is done using a shaver.
  2. 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.
  3. Mosaicplasty: In areas of localized damage, healthy cartilage from an unaffected area is placed.
  4. 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.  

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2569 people found this helpful
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