Cartilage Injuries in Trenton and Philadelphia: Articular Cartilage Explained

May 11th, 2015

 Are you or someone you love concerned about a possible cartilage injury? Cartilage injuries in Trenton and the Philadelphia area are treatable by Rothman Orthopaedic Institute orthopaedic specialists. Differentiating between cartilage types is important in understanding the nature of your injury. There are three types of cartilage in the body: articular/hyaline (covering joints), fibrocartilage (knee meniscus and vertebral disk), and elastic cartilage (the ear). 

These cartilage types differ in their structures and functions. When the meniscus is injured, you may have heard the term “torn meniscus.” Articular cartilage provides low friction surface for joints, providing a cushion for the weight-bearing activities of daily life. Cartilage provides a sort of shock support for walking, stair climbing, sports, etc. 
Articular cartilage can be injured in one of two ways: trauma, or progressive mechanical degeneration. Sometimes it is impossible for cartilage to heal from a trauma, depending on how bad the blow was. Because articular cartilage has no blood supply, it has a very low capacity to self-heal. But if the injury penetrates to the bone, this actually (ironically) may improve its chances of recuperation since the bone closeness brings blood closer to that area. 
Mechanical degeneration occurs when cartilage softens and then fragments. When this continues, the bone loses its protection from weight-bearing and can begin breaking down, which may lead to osteoarthritis.
To diagnose articular cartilage problems by testing, usually an MRI is needed because this reveals not just bone like an x-ray, but other layers of tissues. Your doctor may be able to diagnose you without a test by assessing your symptoms. 
If you are concerned you may have a cartilage injury, it is important that you get help right away. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute can increase and speed up your chances of recovery when you come as early as possible in cases of suspected cartilage damage. For people with cartilage injuries in Trenton and the Greater Philadelphia regions, please contact us at  1-800-321-9999 today. 
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