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.
A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is a common injury in people involved in sports. Any activity that involves sudden stops, jumping or sudden changes in direction have a chance of causing a tear in the ACL. Here is a look at some of the causes, symptoms, and treatment for the ACL injury.
Causes of the ACL injury:
While the ACL injury is common in sportspersons, it can occur in others as well, due to sudden or excessive stain on the knee region. Common causes include-
In some cases, the injury is mild enough to simply strain the ligament. However, a tear results when the force of impact on the ligament is high intensity.
Symptoms of the ACL injury:
Treatment for ACL injury:
In case of ACL injuries, prevention is often better than the cure. If you are into sports, make sure you exercise your knees and legs regularly, so that they are able to withstand the intense pressure put on them.
Your knee is guarded and cushioned by a cartilage known as meniscus. A meniscus tear, therefore, is an extremely painful and discomforting situation. It occurs very frequently and has emerged as one of the most commonly occurring cartilage injuries. What makes a meniscus tear an extremely common phenomenon is the way it can tear-all it takes is a twist of the knee for it to happen.
People involved in sports mostly face the brunt of this form of injury. The risk of getting meniscus torn increases with age and tends to occur at the slightest change of direction of movement. Some of the symptoms of a torn meniscus are:
1. Pain and inflammation
It goes without saying that an internal injury of the cartilage or tearing away of it would inevitably result in extreme pain and inflammation near the knee.
The extreme pain and inflammation, which follows will inevitably make it difficult to move. Since the pain occurs in the joint, you will have difficulty in walking and any forceful movement will only aggravate the pain.
3. Locking of the knee
Locking of the knee refers to a situation when you are unable to move your knee. This occurs most commonly after you have your meniscus torn.
Notwithstanding its frequency of occurrence, there are several ways, by which you can treat a torn meniscus. Some of the ways are:
1. Apply ice
In order to get some relief, applying ice is a suitable option. If you apply ice everyday for some time, it wonders in reducing swelling and the consequent pain.
2. Use a bandage
In order to control the swelling, it is important that you cover your knee with an elastic bandage.
3. Change the posture
It is important that you keep the affected knee in an elevated plane, in order to ensure an efficient blood supply and a consequent relief from pain.
Some Medical Treatments:
There are many things to consider when deciding how to treat your torn meniscus, including the extent and location of the tear, your pain level, your age and activity level, your doctor's preference, and when the injury occurred. Your medical treatment choices are:
1. Nonsurgical treatment with compression, elevation, and physical therapy. This may include wearing a temporary knee brace.
2. Surgical repair to sew the tear together.
3. Partial meniscectomy, which is surgery to remove the torn section.
4. Total meniscectomy, which is surgery to remove the entire meniscus. This is generally avoided, because this option increases the risk for osteoarthritis in the knee.
5. Whenever possible, meniscus surgery is done using arthroscopy, rather than through a large cut in the knee.
Arthroscopic Surgery is the most common orthopedic process, which helps in diagnosing and treating joint problems such as in the knee, ankle, shoulder, hip, and elbow. The term "arthroscopy" is a combination of two Greek terms - 'arthro' means joint and ‘scope’ means look. Arthroscopic surgery helps examine the inside of a joint. During the surgery, a small camera and optical fiber are inserted inside the affected joint through incisions. Obtained images are then projected onto a display screen.
A healthy ACL holds the knee bones together and keeps it stable. ACL and Anterior Cruciate Ligament damages are common among athletes. ACL gets injured when it is stretched or shredded with sudden movement during the activities. An injured ACL can affect one’s daily life as the knee becomes weak to tolerate the pressure making it difficult for a person to play sports or to even walk. Minor injuries to ACL heal over time with some medications and somatic therapies. However, serious injury needs a replacement for the ACL, especially for athletes and young people who are more active. Elderly people are suggested treatments instead of surgery as they are less active. During the surgery, the torn or injured ligament is replaced with a new tissue to stabilize the injured knee. Arthroscopic surgery is typically used by the surgeons for the treatment of one’s ACL.
The toughest ligament that exists in the knee is the PCL or Posterior Cruciate Ligament. Around 20% of the knee injuries are of injured PCL. It is placed in the back or rear of the knee. An injured PCL makes it difficult for the patient to perform the most basic activities like descending stairs, walking (they walk really slowly), turning or bending activities, swollen knee, and unstable knee. PCL injuries are classified as per their severity. There are in general three grades: first-grade injuries are categorized as minor tear of PCL, second-grade injuries have substantially torn PCL, and third grade PCL injuries have non-functional or completely torn PCL. The surgery is usually given when the patient has a third-grade injury to the PCL. The first two grade injuries can be treated with fewer medications and therapies.
Menisci is the cartilage responsible for absorbing shock from the bones and stabilizing the knee. This cartilage is prone to injuries in most athletes who participate in contact sports (sports which involve direct physical contact between players). But it can also get injured while lifting heavy weights, squatting or kneeling. An injured meniscus makes it difficult to twist the knee or straighten the legs. A minor injury (grade one or two) of the meniscus is usually treated with medications and physical therapies but severity (grade three) and the location of the injury decides if the patient needs surgery or not. One might go through some lab tests before the doctor recommends for the surgery. There are three types of surgeries available for Meniscus depending upon the severity of the injury:
Arthroscopic partial or fractional meniscectomy
Arthroscopic complete or total meniscectomy
Benefits of Knee Arthroscopy Surgeries:
Arthroscopic Surgery involves less introduction of instruments into the body than open surgeries. Hence, it is less invasive.
It heals much faster.
The post-surgical phase is less painful in Arthroscopic Surgeries than in any other form.
Decreases the risk of infection and there are fewer sutures as there are minor cuts/ incisions made for the surgery.
Less damage to the skin and tissue.
How should you approach pain caused due to sports injuries?
Sports injuries can happen to any person who engages in sporting activities. These affect full-time athletes as well as those who partake in sports and exercising on an occasional basis. Most sports injuries are acute and affect the muscles and skeletal system. Usually, they are not chronic unless caused by a grave accident or left untreated.
The most common types of injuries caused due to sports are as follows:
Treatment of sports injuries depends on a number of factors such as the type of injury, part of the body affected, the intensity of the pain, and the patient's age and medical history.
Accordingly, the most common ways of approaching the pain caused by sports injuries are:
Devising the exact treatment method requires a thorough examination of the injury. Diagnosis can only be provided after taking into consideration the many factors that affect treatment. The method of treatment varies from case to case and consequently, the recovery time also differs.
Knee injuries are the most complex injuries of bone and cartilages. A direct hit can lead to this situation. You may get this injury while doing your daily activities. An activity as simple as walking or a deadly accident can lead to this injury. You never know, when you are left with a damaged knee. In critical cases, you are advised to undertake a joint replacement surgery conducted by experienced Orthopedic.
According to the latest studies, doctors replace more than a million knees or hips in a year in the United States. It is a life-changing procedure. But you need to know whether you are the right candidate or not? Follow the below-mentioned points to get a clear picture:
Reasons to replace your knee:
ACL Injury (meniscal injury) means torn in one of the important ligament of knee joint, joining the upper leg bone and the lower leg bone, eventually tearing and trapping the cushion pads supporting the knee joints. These injuries usually occur during sports activities, like soccer, basketball, football, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball, etc.
An untreated ACL injury can lead to a condition called an ACL deficiency. This can cause a lot of problems with regard to knee movements as the bones may rub against each other, causing a lot of pain. In some cases, the cartilage covering the ends of the bones may get damaged, eventually tearing and trapping the cushion pads supporting the knee joints.
Signs and symptoms of the anterior cruciate ligament may include:
1. You are unable to move properly.
2. You experience immense pain while walking up and down stairs.
3. You are unable to engage much in physical activities.
4. Your knee begins to swell gradually.
5. You can sense a loud popping sensation when moving your knee.
6. You experience feelings of instability in running, climbing stairs, waking fast or walking on uneven surface (feel like sudden unlocking of knee joint).
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries generally occur during sports. Here are some common possible instances that might happen during a game:
1. Sudden arrest in motion
2. An unsteady landing from a jump
3. Direct blows to the knee from tackles
4. Sudden shifts in direction
Treatment of ACL injuries normally involves the following:
1. Immediate medical attention along with intense first aid care
2. Sincere adherence to the R.I.C.E model of self-care -
3. Success rehabilitative therapy for several weeks
4. Anterior cruciate ligament surgery or reconstruction - In case of complete ACL tear or tear involving more then 50 of ACL fibres and also showing major laxity in knee joint on clinical examination, this procedure is followed.
Knee injuries are the most complex injuries of bone and cartilages. A direct hit can lead to this situation. You may get this injury while doing your daily activities. An activity as simple as walking or a deadly accident can lead to this injury. You never know, when you are left with a damaged knee. In critical cases, you are advised to undertake a joint replacement surgery. According to the latest studies, doctors replace more than a million knees or hips in a year in the United States. It is a life-changing procedure. But you need to know whether you are the right candidate or not? Follow the below-mentioned points to get a clear picture:
Reasons to replace your knee-
When joint replacement may not help?
There are a number of situations when the joint replacement may not help. These are as follows:
Knee is a complex structure of your body made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, articular cartilage, muscles and meniscus. Knee is a very important joint as it plays a crucial role in human movement and is also very much prone to injuries. Your shoulder like your knee is also composed of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. It is the most flexible joint of your body and because of its frequent movement is also vulnerable to injuries. Knee and shoulder injuries can happen due to various reasons such as while playing sports, carelessly falling down or accidents. Your knee is made up of many important structures, any of which can be injured.
The most common knee injuries are as follows-
Treatment of Knee Injuries-
When you are first injured, the RICE method — rest, ice, gentle compression and elevation – can help speed your recovery. The type of treatment your doctor recommends will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your injury, your age, general health, and activity level.
Many knee injuries can be treated with simple measures, such as:
Many fractures and injuries around the knee require surgery to fully restore function to your leg. In some cases – such as ACL, PCL, Meniscal tears, surgery can be done arthroscopically using small incisions and minimally Invasive techniques.
The most common shoulder injuries are stated below-
Treatment of Shoulder Injuries-
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL tear is a very common problem with athletes and with people who have an active lifestyle. In fact, this can also be caused by any accident due to sudden movement.
Importance of ACL
The ACL is the supporting ligament, which runs diagonally from back to front right in the middle of the knee, connecting the femur bone and the tibia, and helps the tibia not to come before the femur. Thus the balance of the knee during back and forth movements and the entire stability of the knee joint is secured by this very important piece of ligament.
What leads to an injury to the ACL?
Here are a few actions that may result in a ligament tear.
Sudden stopping while running or slowing down from a fast speed
Sudden change in direction
Uncontrolled jumping from a height
Direct hitting with an object or person
What happens when the ACL is torn?
If the ACL is torn, the stability of your knee is gone, and you feel as if you have no control over the joint. Moreover, it causes extreme pain and instant swelling. Swelling usually appears within 24 hours of the injury.
Treatment of ACL Injury
Recovery from an ACL tear is possible only after a surgery. Without surgery, the affected will not be able to return to sports or athletics, or may not be able to run and make swift movements again as before. However, to avoid surgery, there are non-invasive treatments for the aged and people who require moving less.
Non-invasive Treatment: Bracing is one treatment where braces are given to support the knee joint during movement and also to avoid further injury. This is effective for the elderly who need minimum movement and may manage daily activities with a braced knee. Also, crutches add to the support and let the weaker knee get rest. This is followed by physical therapy. But the swelling has to reduce before starting it. Many exercises and controlled movements over a long time help in getting back agility in movement gradually.