What Is Knee Cartlidge For?


Quick Answer

Knee cartilage absorbs the shock of bones moving against each other as a person walks, runs, jumps or otherwise moves the bones in the knee area. Cartilage covers the ends of the bones in the knee joint and has a rubbery texture. Damage to cartilage results in pain that occurs with knee movement.

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Full Answer

Cartilage can be damaged by injury, repetitive use, congenital abnormalities and hormonal disorders. If the underlying bones are intact, surgery can be performed to repair or replace cartilage.

Magnetic-resonance imaging is used to identify damage to the cartilage as the source of knee pain. Arthroscopic surgery is commonly used to repair torn cartilage. In arthroscopic surgery, small incisions are made in the area around the joint. A small camera is inserted in one of these openings to help the doctor see inside the knee and to maneuver surgical tools and perform the repair. Recovery time is generally faster for arthroscopic surgery than for other types of knee surgery.

In addition to repairing damaged cartilage, cartilage grafts and transplants may be used to treat knee pain. Cells can be grafted from the patient or a donor to be used to stimulate new cartilage growth. Transplants can be performed on certain areas of cartilage, replacing the entire section with donor cartilage.

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