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The physician will examine the knee to assess the motion, stability, tenderness, swelling, and overall strength.

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Plain X-rays may be helpful in identifying a bone injury or early arthritis, but it will typically not identify an isolated articular cartilage injury. Therefore, the physician may order an MRI scan with or without a contrast dye injection, to determine the extent of damage and identify the proper plan of treatment.

Knee Cartilage Damage

The treatment approach for articular cartilage injury depends on severity of the condition. Appropriate non-operative treatments will relieve most symptoms and is generally the first method of treatment.

Articular cartilage repair in athletes

Operative treatments are usually only be considered after trying more-conservative approaches. Rest - It is advised to decrease or completely stop the activity that makes the pain worse.

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A great way to stay active while allowing the symptoms to subside is to switch to low-impact, cross-training activities such as biking or swimming. Ice - Placing ice with a barrier such as a towel on the most painful areas of the knee for up to 30 minutes less if the skin becomes numb three to four times a day can greatly soothe the pain and keep the swelling down. Medication - Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen usually help reduce pain and swelling. Of course, now feels great, but the doctor recommends he has surgery. Is there any sense in just trying physical therapy and continue to play as long as he has no pain?

Thank you for any help and advice you can give him.

Your information on your blog is very informative and helpful. The articular cartilage is the cartilage lining the ends of the bones within a joint.

Effective articular cartilage repair in athletes depends on patient, injury characteristics

It helps the joint move smoothly. The articular cartilage serves as a shock absorber. If that cartilage breaks down, you can have pain, swelling and catching sensations. If the cartilage continues to break down within a joint like the knee, osteoarthritis can develop. Cartilage injuries are tricky because it is difficult for orthopedic surgeons to make cartilage new again.

If there is a loose area of cartilage, there are options to smooth it out.

New Treatment Techniques for Athletes Suffering from Cartilage Injuries -

If there is an area of missing cartilage with exposed bone, there are options to fill that defect. In this video, I discuss the various surgical options for damage to the articular cartilage of the knee. I also discuss the idea of whether an athlete can do more damage by continuing to play sports without surgery.

Also read: Ask Dr. Patients complain of sharp pain in the knee, usually localized to the area of the cartilage injury.

Cartilage Injury in the Athlete

Swelling, catching, clicking or locking in the knee may occur. X-rays and MRIs are both extremely useful in diagnosing the condition. Certain cartilage injuries respond well to a period of rest, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Sometimes, however, surgery is necessary. If a piece of cartilage is missing, leaving exposed bone, the goal of surgery is to try to fill the defect with repair tissue.

According to Dr. Microfracture is a marrow stimulation that is commonly utilized to treat focal, symptomatic cartilage defects in the knee. In a microfracture surgery, small channels are created by the surgeon, which provide access to the bone marrow deep to the cartilage surface.