The knee is basically a hinge joint in between the upper and lower leg bones. The two cartilages that provide cushioning are the medial and lateral meniscuses which reduce friction between the leg bones at the knee. The patella provides protection to the joint while the interior part of the patella is covered with cartilage that allows smooth movement of the leg bones behind the kneecap. Issues with the meniscal or patellar knee cartilage can initiate pain and can drastically disrupt the normal functionality of the knee.
It is important that you are familiar with the common cartilage issues affecting the knee. You can readily manage one if you will register for first aid training in Mississauga today.
Common causes of cartilage problems on the knees
These are some of the conditions that affect the cartilage present in the knees. If an individual has one of these conditions, it is best to consult a doctor so that appropriate treatment options can be started.
What is knee arthritis?
Osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can progressively destroy the knee cartilage. When it comes to osteoarthritis, the cartilage of the knee steadily degenerates due to progressive wear. The risk increases with advancing age, obesity and history of previous knee injuries.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints. The cartilage is destroyed by the enzymes released during the activity of the immune system within the joint. Most individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis involve the knees.
Any form of traumatic injury or degenerative changes in the knee menisci can eventually result to tears. There are various types of meniscus tear in which some are serious than the others. A full-thickness tear or grade IV lesions are considered the most severe meniscus injury. When it comes to a grade IV tear, a part or portion of the torn cartilage can break off and hover in the interior region of the knee joint, blocking full straightening and bending of the knee, thus disrupting with some of the activities that the individual can engage in.
In minor cases of meniscus tears, they do not disrupt the capability to walk but can trigger issues with certain activities, particularly movement that involve twisting or completely bending the knee.
It is important to note that chondromalacia patella is a degenerative condition affecting the patellar cartilage caused by overusing the knee or misalignment of the kneecap over the leg bones. The condition usually develops among individuals who take part in sports or recreational activities that constantly add stress on the knee including cycling, running, rowing and even skiing. Take note that the condition can cause localized pain with extensive bending of the knee along with a grinding sensation and swelling.
The individual should avoid any activities that can trigger the symptoms. Unless allowed by the doctor, any activity must be avoided.