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Cartilage Surgery Tips

How To Treat Torn Cartilage?

How To Treat Torn Cartilage?

Torn or damage cartilage is not just a problem for the sportsmen. It can occur to anyone. It is generally caused due to a direct hit on the body parts. Its treatment is far more complicated than a simple bone injury. The best sign to know whether or not you have injured your cartilage is to check out your activities. If you have hurt your joint and don’t notice major symptoms, like if you are still capable of putting weight on and move the joint, you might have had a cartilage injury. It doesn’t hurt you a lot in the beginning, but might get worse later. 

Here are the initial care and self-treatment procedure: 

  1. Protection: It is the first thing that has to be kept in mind. You must protect the affected area from any further injury. Thus, providing an external support, for example, use a knee brace. 
  2. Rest: Provide complete rest to the affected joint. The rest is must during the first two or three days. Crutches may help the situation if you’ve got an injury around your knee or ankle. It is then advisable to return back to light activity over the next few days or weeks, as prescribed by the doctor. 
  3. Ice: It is best to apply an ice pack to the injured area for about 15 to 20 minutes in every two to three hours. This must be repeated in the first two to three days. 
  4. Compression: Use a bandage to provide the needed compression to the injured area to avoid any swelling and movement. This will not let things go beyond control. 
  5. Elevation: You must keep the injured area raised. Keep it supported on a pillow to reduce swelling. 

If there is an unbearable pain, take painkillers such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If your condition doesn’t improve after the initial therapy, you must consult a doctor immediately. 

  1. Physiotherapy: It can be helpful in treating the affected joint. If there is any difficulty in moving the affected joint, you must opt for physiotherapy. A professional will be able to teach you exercises that will strengthen your muscles and provide support to the joint. This will help you in getting rid of the pain. It can be also beneficial at a time when you are recovering from any surgical procedure. 
  2. Surgery: If physiotherapy doesn’t work, it means you have severe cartilage damage. In that case, you might be advised to take up surgical procedures to set things in proper shape. Surgery is done either by opening the joint or by Arthroscopy. There are various types of surgery which can be done. 1st the old and successful surgery wherein damaged part of the cartilage is debrided and filled with normal cartilage from the non-weight bearing part of the joint. 2nd is ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) is a 2 stage procedure wherein chondrocyte is grown using stem cell and implanted in defect part in 2nd stage. 3rd is multiple drilling of the area usually done in childrens.

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

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Causes And Treatments For Cartilage Damage!

Causes And Treatments For 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.  

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

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