Knee Cartilage Tears: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco, TX

by Administrator 16. January 2017 11:16

Knee Cartilage is a connective tissue that acts a cushion and protects the knee joint from sudden jerks or shocks.  There are two types of cartilage tissues present in the knee, the first one known as meniscus (presents between the bones) and the second as articular cartilage (covers end of the bones) respectively. Though cartilage is a tough tissue it is highly susceptible to injuries and the condition is majorly seen in elderly, obese and sportspersons.

Causes

  • A sudden jerk to the joint during a fall from an automobile accident or while playing contact sports like rugby, football etc.
  • Injury caused by sudden twisting of the knee
  • Over use of the joint
  • Lack of movement
  • Degeneration of tissues in elderly people

Symptoms

  • Persistent pain in the joint while walking or even resting
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Grinding sensation
  • Feeling that the joint will give away
  • Unusual lumps or bumps on the affected area
  • Pain in the knee joint
  • Difficulty in straightening the leg

Diagnosis

  • The doctor may recommend a McMurray’s Test or Thessaly’s Test in order to diagnose meniscal tears.
  • Certain imaging tests may also be suggested by the doctor to assess the condition. These include -
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans – This test may help the doctor to visualize the damaged tissue in the knee
  • Arthroscopy – To evaluate the extent of cartilage damage that has occurred the doctor may recommend arthroscopy. This involves inserting a camera into the affected area to visualize the damaged tissue.

Treatment

Conservative treatment

  • The doctor may suggest the patient to follow PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compress, elevate) technique to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers may also be prescribed in order to alleviate pain.
  • Exercises that enhance the rate of nutrient diffusion into the cartilage and reduce the formation of scar tissue in the joint, may also be recommend by the doctor.

Surgical treatment

Depending on factor like age and activity level of the patient, size of the lesion etc. The orthopedic surgeon may decide from one of the surgical methods –

  • Debridement-   This procedure may be conducted to remove the damaged tissues that irritates other body parts by continuously rubbing against them. The process is done arthroscopically with the use of a mechanical shaver.
  • Marrow stimulation - Orthopedic surgeon may drill holes under the damaged cartilage to expose the blood vessels that lay inside the bones. This allows a blood clot to be formed in the cartilage which further stimulates the formation of a new tissue.
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation – In this technique the orthopedic surgeon may take a piece of cartilage from the patient and culture it in the laboratory to form new cells. Then, after 1-2 months implant the healthy cells in place of damaged tissue.

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