How Is a Cartilage Tear Repaired?

How Is a Cartilage Tear Repaired?

We ask a lot of our joints as they rotate, bend, and perform countless other movements that help us in daily life. After enough time or damage, however, these movements can become painful. Sometimes the discomfort can stem from an issue with a muscle, ligament, or bone, but other times, cartilage is the culprit. Fortunately, treatment options are available.

At our private practice located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Dr. Jeremy Woodson and our exceptional team provide quality care for individuals of all ages and activity levels. We use innovative treatment methods that have been proven effective to treat injuries and chronic joint conditions, as well as offering preventive care and assistance in improving athletic performance. We can also help with cartilage tear repairs.

What is cartilage?

Articular cartilage is smooth white tissue approximately 2 to 4 mm thick and provides a cushion between bones to help our joints move without friction or pain. However, if it gets damaged or worn away, the two pieces of bone hit each other, and their sensitive nerve endings can cause discomfort. 

In addition to pain, symptoms may include swelling or stiffness. In the case of a torn meniscus in the knee, there may also be a popping sensation, difficulty in straightening the knee, or a feeling that the knee is giving way.

Cartilage damage explained

Damage to the cartilage can occur due to an injury, such as a meniscal tear or from normal wear-and-tear. A diagnosis can often be made during a physical exam as our team moves the knee in different ways and observes you walking and squatting. 

Cartilage doesn't contain calcium and therefore won't show up on an X-ray, though X-rays can be helpful in ruling out other conditions. An MRI can show a tear and may be recommended in certain situations. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment plan is essential to prevent not only the pain and limitations of movement but also the development of arthritis in the joint.

Cartilage tear repair

Sometimes non-invasive treatments like rest, ice, and medication can be successful in relieving the pain of a cartilage tear and allow the injury to heal on its own. If the damage is the result of arthritis, often treating the arthritis can improve the tear. In some cases, however, medical intervention may be required. Often this is done with arthroscopic or robotic surgery that requires only tiny incisions to trim or repair the cartilage tear.

Whether you're having joint pain and are seeking a diagnosis, call our office today at 405-233-3602 for an appointment for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

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