Cartilage is a strong, flexible connective tissue that cushions and supports various tissues in your body. Your knee has two types of cartilage, and each has a different function:
- Meniscus: rubbery cartilage that cushions the bones in your knee and helps bear the brunt of impact movements
- Articular: slippery cartilage that makes it easy for two bones to move togethe
Michael Bennett, MD, PA, regularly treats people in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, with cartilage damage in places like elbows, hips, ankles, and knees. In this blog, he focuses on your knees and some of the main reasons you have cartilage damage. He’ll also outline some of the treatments he recommends to help you regain full function.
What are the symptoms of cartilage damage?
Some of the signature symptoms of damaged cartilage in your knee are:
- Impaired range of motion
- Inability to extend your knee
Another common symptom is the feeling that your knee is locking or catching when you extend it.
What are the most common reasons for knee cartilage damage?
In each of our three offices, we routinely treat people who have cartilage damage due to:
- Sports injury
- Wear and tear
- Genetic disorders
Your cartilage can also atrophy from lack of use, such as from a long hospital stay or constant sitting.
How is cartilage damage diagnosed?
Dr. Bennett meets with you to conduct a comprehensive physical exam and talk to you about your health history. Based on his findings, he may recommend either an exploratory arthroscopy or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to pinpoint exactly where your cartilage damage is located and how extensive it is.
How are knees with cartilage damage treated?
With the results of your diagnostic testing in hand, Dr. Bennett writes a custom care plan to alleviate your pervasive pain and get you moving again. If your damage is mild, he recommends the most conservative options, such as physical therapy, bracing, and medications.
If you’re dealing with advanced cartilage damage, your in-depth healing plan may include:
Surgery is reserved for the most severe cases of cartilage damage.
If you have sudden or chronic knee pain, turn to Dr. Bennett and our caring team. We have three offices in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, to serve you. Call today or use the online scheduling option to book at your convenience.