Cartilage damage is a prevalent type of injury which can affect different joints in the body, for example the hands, feet, elbows, wrists, knees or ankles.
Cartilage is a tough, flexible connective tissue found throughout the body. It is a delicate and rubber-like tissue which is relatively easy to damage. Its primary purpose is to cover and protect the surface of the joints and act as an absorber of pressure and shock when they are being stressed or moved.Most people with cartilage damage experiences serious pain in the joints, stiffness in the joint, and inflammation or swelling.
These are the signs you will experience if you damage the cartilage in a joint:
The most common joints to experience wear-and tear arthritis ( osteoarthritis ) are lower limb weight bearing joints, such as the knee and the ankle. Although, other joints in the body like the hip joint, shoulder joint, elbow joint, and wrist joint are also just as likely to get affected. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate a cartilage injury from other common injuries like sprains or strains because they have similar symptoms.
You can get your knee and ankle damaged in several ways. It might be as a result of wear and tear or more commonly triggered by some kind of trauma. Some examples of occurrences that can affect your knee and ankle cartilage are as follows
Cartilage damage, left untreated could result in different sorts of complications. Here are some of those complications :
Osteoarthritis – This is a serious form degenerative joint pain that occurs after a long period of articular cartilage damage to the knee or ankle (may also affect other joints in the body like the elbow, wrist, and others).Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis (other form of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis which is an inflammatory arthritis or seronegative arthritis which is an autoimmune phenomenon ) Secondary osteoarthritis happens as a result of wear and tear of the cartilage around the knee and ankle joints. It might eventually cause permanent damage to the knee or ankle and result in deformity
These symptoms are experienced when proper treatment is not effected when cartilage damage occurs to the knee and ankle.
Here are some factors that can increase your risk for Osteoarthritis
Whilst it is true that a severe joint injury may result in future osteoarthritis, early diagnosis of this injury and supportive care could alter the natural history of progression to osteoarthritis.
Price Therapy – If the cartilage damage is still an early one, you can adopt the PRICE therapy. PRICE stands for – Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Protection – the first step is to protect the affected area from getting worse by using a support like a knee brace.
Rest – you rest the affected joint for up to 2 to 3 days. You can also use crutches to rest the joint. Then you can resume light activity after some days of rest.
Ice – you apply ice to the affected area for about 10-25 minutes of the first 2 or 3 days.
Compression – you compress the affected area with a bandage to prevent further damage and swellingthat may arise as a result of movement.
Elevation – ensure a continuous raise of the injured area and support with a soft object like a pillow to prevent further swelling.
Medication : Different kinds of drugs can be taken such as;
Physiotherapy: you can seek the private services of a physiotherapist if you have difficulty if moving the affected joint or the symptoms persists. You will get to learn some physical exercises to strengthen the muscles around your joint.
Surgery : surgical techniques such as;