Knee cartilage problems – causes and treatment

knee pain when bending

What is knee cartilage?

3 Treatment of knee problems 4 References Knee cartilage Cartilage is defined as a type of connective tissue found in the body.

It is worth noting that cartilage is a unique type of tissue; Because it does not contain blood vessels or nerves, instead of cartilage cells known as chondrocytes.

They are located inside a jelly-like mold, which provides nutrition for the cells, and in addition, the unique structure of cartilage makes it a strong and flexible tissue, and there are three types Of the cartilages in the body.

They are: hyaline cartilage, fibrous cartilage, and elastic cartilage. It should be noted that these fillers are necessary to reduce friction in the joints, such as; It is found in the knee, and doctors consider it the strongest of the three types of cartilage, because it has thick layers of strong collagen fibers. The function of the meniscus is to absorb shock and act as a cushion to cushion movement.

Knee cartilage damage

Despite the flexibility and strength of cartilage, it can be damaged, and as we mentioned earlier, cartilage does not contain nerves, so damaged cartilage does not cause pain, but the friction that occurs between the bones of the joint and other resulting deformities such as; Bone pricking, can cause discomfort, pain, in addition to inflammation.

And because cartilage does not contain blood vessels; It does not heal itself well, because when the cartilage becomes thin or damaged, a limited amount of new cartilage is produced, but this new cartilage grows in irregular and uneven patterns, and this results in that the bones may rub against each other at the joint.

Making it A source of pain as well, and the following is a statement of the causes of cartilage damage, and the symptoms that appear on the sufferer.

Causes of knee cartilage damage

As we mentioned previously, when the cartilage is damaged, the bones may rub against each other in the joint, which leads to a feeling of pain, and there are many reasons that lead to cartilage damage, including the following:

Erosion: Wearing and tearing over time can lead to osteoporosis.

Diseases: There are a group of diseases that may lead to cartilage damage, such as; Rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.

Exposure to a direct blow: the cartilage may be damaged when the joint receives a strong blow due to a fall, for example, or as a result of a car accident. It should be noted that athletes face a greater risk of suffering from joint damage, especially those who participate in high-impact sports such as; American football, rugby, and wrestling

Obesity: A joint that is under stress for a long time can be damaged, and therefore obese people are more likely to damage their knee over a period of 20 years, compared to people of a healthy weight; This is because obesity exposes the body to a higher degree of physical stress.

Lack of movement: joints need to move regularly to stay healthy, and the possibility of cartilage damage may increase when you spend long periods of inactivity and immobility.

Knee cartilage rupture

A knee cartilage tear is defined as a severe tear in the tendons of the joint in the knee, which would lead to severe pain, with the inability to walk, and this disease is not limited to a certain age group, as it affects young people, children, and the elderly, and there are There are many symptoms that indicate that a person has a cartilage tear, which we will learn about in this article.

Symptoms of a knee cartilage tear

Torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, and may be accompanied by the emergence of many symptoms, which may begin with a crackling sound around the knee joint, and it is indicated that any activity that leads to bending or rotating the knee forcefully may It causes the meniscus to rupture in some people, especially when the entire body weight is placed on the knee.

The symptoms of a knee cartilage rupture are described in some detail:

Initial symptoms

Not all cases of a meniscus tear in the knee have signs and symptoms. Some people may not feel any pain or even realize that they have a meniscus tear. If the initial symptoms appear, they may appear immediately after the injury, or sometimes alternately.

It is indicated that cartilage damage and damage may occur gradually over time, which leads to the emergence of intermittent and alternating symptoms, and the following is a statement of the initial symptomsBuckling of the knee, which is weakness and instability of the knee.

Feeling local and sharp pain, usually felt by the injured, either on the inner or outer side of the knee.

Swelling; It may not be limited to the area where the pain is felt; Rather, it may extend to the surrounding areas, and often the swelling does not appear until a day after the injury.

Other symptoms of a knee cartilage tear

Severe pain in the knee and thigh, and this pain increases when walking and moving during the day.

Knee fatigue when carrying extra weight.

Inability to extend the leg straight.

Hear a slight sound when moving.

The appearance of large bulges in the knee.

Note: The knee cartilage rupture is identified by walking for a short period of time very slowly, as the affected person bends the knee, and if he feels tired and unable to walk, this indicates a torn cartilage.

Knee cartilage tear treatment

Warm water compresses: This recipe is used by placing warm compresses on the knee, with a massage for a period ranging from five to ten minutes using the fingertips, and leaving it for at least half an hour, until the water dries, with this treatment being repeated once a day, to obtain Effective result within a short period of time.

Cotton: Cotton is used by applying a quantity of cotton to the affected knee area, wrapping it with a large bandage or covering, fixing it, leaving it for two or three days, then removing it, and washing the foot with warm water. This method is used twice a week, to get rid of this problem.

The splint: The splint is used by placing it on the affected knee, and leaving it for a long time, taking into account its use if the person’s condition is serious.

Surgery: This method is resorted to if the injury is serious, and this is accompanied by blood coming out of the knee, which indicates that the injury is very serious and goes beyond the stage of rupture.

Other treatments for knee cartilage rupture

conservative treatment

Relax the body.

Put ice pieces at the site of the injury.

Use crutches to avoid weight gain on the knee.

Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling in the knee.

natural therapy

Physiotherapy is used to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee, relieve pain, and increase knee mobility.

Surgical treatment

Surgical treatment was resorted to if conservative or natural treatment did not respond, and the operation usually takes one hour, knee surgery is performed through a knee arthroscope; Because it speeds up the patient’s return to his daily activities, and the type of operation depends on the age of the patient, the location and type of the cut, as well as the condition of the unaffected part of the cartilage, including:

Resection: Only the cut part is removed, taking into account the preservation of the rest of the cartilage, because the cartilage is of great importance for the knee, and the patient does not need to stay in the hospital after the completion of the surgery, as he can return to his home on the same day that the surgery is performed, He can walk the next day without the need for crutches.

Sewing: it may sometimes be possible to re-sew the cut part of the cartilage using materials that dissolve automatically over time. The patient must use a crutch for several weeks until the cartilage heals.

Meniscal cartilage transplantation: This surgery is carried out by transferring meniscal cartilage from a deceased person to the injured person, where it is sewn in the knee. In the joint, but there are some drawbacks to this surgery represented in the lack of knowledge of its long-term consequences, and there is no tissue bank that preserves the meniscal cartilages of the deceased.

Disadvantages of knee arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is one of the most common operations, but it may involve a number of health risks, including the following:

Swelling of the knee joint : Swelling of the knee joint is one of the common harms of knee arthroscopy, and it is necessary to see a doctor if the patient notices an increase in joint swelling, and common causes of swelling after knee arthroscopy are as follows:

-Persistent inflammation in the joint.

-The joint is exposed to bleeding.

-Exposure to infection.

Among the procedures that help reduce joint swelling are the following:

-Rest the joint as much as possible.

-Put ice on the joint.

-Applying compression bandages.

-Raise the injured leg.

Knee joint stiffness

The knee joint may experience stiffness after arthroscopic surgery, and the reasons that lead to it are the following:

Scar tissue growth around the knee joint.

Swelling around the joint.

To treat knee joint stiffness, the patient must do several things to prevent joint stiffness after surgery, such as constantly bending the knee, and performing appropriate exercises.

If the joint stiffness leads to a feeling of helplessness and discomfort during movement; You should see a doctor for treatment.

Cartilage damage progression

Arthroscopic knee arthroscopy can damage or damage the cartilage early in the knee joint in some people, especially individuals who suffer from arthritis, as the condition of the joint may get worse.

A health condition called osteonecrosis can also develop after a meniscus surgery. This condition leads to rapid deterioration of the cartilage in the knee joint, which may eventually lead to a joint replacement.

Knee replacement surgery side effects

Knee replacement surgery has a number of disadvantages, including the following :

The new joint erosion, which requires more surgeries.

Blood clots in the veins.


The artificial joint has been dislocated or loosened.

A difference in the length of the legs.

nerve damage.

Knee stiffness.

Damage to tendons and ligaments.

Knee cartilage transplant damages

Allograft osteochondral transplantation may cause some damage, including the following:



Feeling of constant pain.

Knee stiffness.

The body rejects the transplanted cartilage

.An immune reaction from the body to the transplanted cartilage.

Fragmentation of the transplanted cartilage.

Disadvantages of autologous chondrocyte transplantation

Some may resort to the process of autologous chondrocyte implantation, and this process may involve the following damages:

Periosteal hypertrophy, which occurs as a result of the formation of scar tissue around the edges of the bone membrane, and is one of the most common damage caused by autologous chondrocyte transplantation.

Knee infection.

Stiffness and stiffness in the knee.

Farming failure.

Adhesions of cultured cells.

Poor fusion of transplanted cells with bone cartilage.

Disadvantages of using a patch or gel to repair cartilage

Artificial scaffolds can cause a number of damages, including the following:

the pain.


Remove the used patch for inhomogeneity.

The tissue of the used graft is torn.

The continuous growth of scar cells and the consequent side effects.

Sew the graft over one of the nerve endings.

Article Summary

Damage associated with knee cartilage surgery varies depending on its type, condition of the patient and his health history, and some may only suffer from damage and side effects resulting from the use of anesthesia.

And these damages often disappear after a period of operation when the patient adheres to all the important tips and instructions to preserve the knee and wound However, a doctor should be consulted if it persists for a long time or worsens.

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