Articular cartilage damage
Articular cartilage damage
Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Articular cartilage is the smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints. Healthy cartilage in our joints makes it easier to move. It allows the bones to glide over each other with very little friction.
grade 1: the cartilage has a soft spot or blisters.
grade 2: minor tears visible in the cartilage.
grade 3: lesions have deep crevices (more than 50% of cartilage layer).
grade 4: the cartilage tear exposes the underlying (subchronal) bone.
grade 0: (normal) healthy cartilage.
Articular cartilage can be damaged by trauma, degenerative wear and tear or other specific joint diseases.
Causes of articular cartilage damage:-
Degenerative, eg osteoarthritis.
Inflammatory, eg rheumatoid arthritis.
Others, eg Osteochondritis Dissecans.
Trauma, eg fractures into the joint.
Unfortunately, articular cartilage, once damaged, does not heal itself with new normal tissue, as bone does. The structure of articular cartilage is complex, and it is referred to as 'hyaline cartilage'. At best, areas of damage or cartilage loss may heal up with what is known as 'fibrocartilage', which is half scar tissue and half like cartilage. However, fibrocartilage does not have the same biological or mechanical properties as normal hyaline cartilage. At the extreme end of the spectrum, damaged cartilage may lead to patches of bare bone developing within a joint, with all the usual painful symptoms and signs of arthritis.
If left untreated, the joint, especially if it is a weight-bearing one, such as the knee, can eventually become so damaged that the person cannot walk. Apart from immobility, the patient may experienced progressively worsening pain.
All small articular cartilage defects can eventually progress to osteoarthritis, if given enough time.
Articular cartilage damage can cause quite a wide variety of potential symptoms, depending on the severity of the damage. Symptoms may include:-
Swelling of the joint.
Catching or giving way.
Locking (where one is unable to fully straighten the joint).
Pain in the joint.
If the area of cartilage damage is small, then a patient may feel a quite specific, localizable, intermittent sharp pain within the joint. If the cartilage damage is extensive and widespread, then the symptoms are more likely to be those of generalized arthritis.
Although articular cartilage damage diagnosis may sometimes be extremely challenging, modern non-invasive tests make the job much easier than it used to be. Differentiating between cartilage damage in the knee and a sprain or ligament damage is not easy, because the symptoms overlap.After carrying out a physical examination, the doctor may order the following diagnostic tests:
Arthroscopy - a tube-like instrument (arthroscope) is inserted into a joint to inspect and diagnose it. Repairs can also be carried out. This procedure can help determine the extent of cartilage damage.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - the device uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. It can often detect cartilage damage. However, in some cases, the damage cannot be seen on the MRI, even though it is present.
Many procedures to restore articular cartilage are done arthroscopically. During arthroscopy, surgeon makes three small, puncture incisions around your joint using an arthroscope. Some procedures require more direct access to the affected area. Sometimes it is necessary to address other problems in the joint, such as meniscal or ligament tears, when cartilage surgery is done.
In general, recovery from an arthroscopic procedure is quicker and less painful than a traditional, open surgery. Your doctor will discuss the options with you to determine what kind of procedure is right for you.
The most common procedures for cartilage restoration are:
Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACT).
Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation.
Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation.
NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
It is well known that our overall health and wellbeing are totally dependable on what we eat. That is why a healthy diet plays a significant role in keeping the body healthy. Day after day, scientists all over the world make new discoveries proving that certain...
A new study finds that brain volumes of people who regularly eat vegetables, fruit, and fish are on average 2ml greater than brain volumes of those who often drink sugary beverages. A brain volume reduction of 3.6ml equals to one year of aging. For the study, the...
Quiz about this article
0 of 2 questions completed
Please answer on few questions to make our service more useful
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Quiz is loading...
You must sign in or sign up to start the quiz.
You have to finish following quiz, to start this quiz:
0 of 2 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 points, (0)
Question 1 of 2
Was this article useful for you?Correct
Thanks for your feedback!Incorrect
Thanks for your feedback!
Question 2 of 2
What else information about this disease you want to know ?Correct
Thanks for feedback!Incorrect
Thanks for feedback!
Good weather is the best reason to do outdoor sports, which will help not only lose weight, but also will strengthen health. Bicycle The sun dries out the local paths, so you can safely sit on your favorite bike and confidently twist the pedals, where the eyes look....read more
First aid for injuries consists of simple rules that need to be clearly implemented. If this is a closed injury, you need to immobilize the injured limb, otherwise the person may lose consciousness from a painful shock. If you need to get to the emergency room...read more
Many people spontaneously decide starting to do sport, while others weigh all the pros and cons for a log time. But almost all of them make the same mistakes, listening to the advice of non experts. There are 10 anti-tips for those who want to do plan to do some sport...read more