What is an articular cartilage injury?
The knee joint is formed by the lower end of the femur (thigh bone) and the upper end of the tibia (shin bone). The ends of these bones are covered in a shiny white connective tissue known as articular cartilage. This cartilage adds a layer of protection to the bones, but its main responsibility is to reduce friction allowing painless knee joint movement. A traumatic injury to the knee joint, or even the normal “wear-and-tear” of the joint, can result in damage to this articular cartilage. Over time, cartilage damage can lead to osteoarthritis, a painful condition characterized by bone-on-bone joint movement.
What is the treatment for an articular cartilage injury?
Patients with small or isolated articular cartilage defects may benefit from conservative treatment measures such as rest, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). However, failed conservative therapy or significant articular cartilage damage may necessitate surgical intervention to restore the articular cartilage. Patients with a singular cartilage injury or defect are more likely to benefit from surgical intervention than patients with multiple cartilage lesions. There are a number of surgical strategies that can be implemented for articular cartilage restoration. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic knee doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, who have experienced an articular cartilage knee injury and are in need of articular cartilage restoration.