Did you know? Over 12 million people a year visit their doctors because of knee pain that is affecting their quality of life.
Knee pain can be caused by injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage; or by chronic medical conditions – including arthritis, gout, and infections. In most cases, minor knee pain responds well to self-care measures. However, sometimes, your knee may require surgical repair. If you or someone you love is wondering about knee surgery to relieve knee pain, HROSM is pleased to provide the following answers to patients’ frequently asked questions about the procedure.
What Is Knee Cartilage And How Does It Get Injured?
The knee joint hinges together the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). Cartilage acts as a cushion between these two joints. Your knee has two kinds of cartilage:
- articular cartilage, which provides a smooth, lubricated surface within the joint
- meniscus cartilage, which provides a cushion to the articular cartilage during weight-bearing activities.
Problems with the articular cartilage, are usually caused by either injury, defect, or arthritis.
Damage to meniscus cartilage is usually the result of an injury. A torn meniscus can result from any activity that causes you to twist or rotate your knee forcefully. Even kneeling, deep squatting, or lifting something heavy can lead to a torn meniscus. In older adults, degenerative changes of the knee may contribute to a torn meniscus.
What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Cartilage Damage?
A patient with articular knee cartilage damage may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- dull pain around or under the kneecap that worsens when walking down stairs or hills
- pain when climbing stairs or when the knee bears weight as it straightens
- loss of motion, pain, or swelling
Similarly, the symptoms of damage to the meniscus include:
- swelling or stiffness
- pain (especially when twisting or rotating your knee), and difficulty in motion
- unable to straighten your knee fully, or feel as if your knee were locked in place
- a popping sensation during movement
The first step for anyone experiencing symptoms of damage to knee cartilage is to consult your physician right away.
What are the Treatment Options for Damaged Knee Cartilage?
We start with conservative treatments. Depending on your individual situation, we may recommend:
- Rest – Avoid activities that aggravate your knee pain, especially any activity that might cause you to twist your knee.
- Ice – Ice can aid in reducing knee pain and swelling.
- Medication – Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help ease knee pain.
- Therapy – Physical therapy can help you strengthen the muscles around your knee and in your legs to help stabilize and support the knee joint.
- Surgery – If a patient does not respond to more conservative treatment options, surgery may be necessary to repair the knee.
The physicians at HROSM are some of the most experienced specialists for knee cartilage surgery, and they can offer comprehensive and caring treatment for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (757) 873-1554.