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How to Identify and Treat Cartilage Injuries

How to Identify and Treat Cartilage Injuries

Cartilage injury is a common issue that affects many people, whether caused by an accident or overuse, cartilage injuries can be painful and debilitating. It is a form of joint damage that can be caused by trauma, repetitive motion, or wear and tear.

It can occur in any joint in the body and can cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness, a popping sound when bending or moving the joint, reduced range of motion, and joint locking. It is important that you know how to identify these injuries and what steps to take in order to treat them properly.

Joint Cartilage = Hyaline Cartilage

Hyaline cartilage (also called articular cartilage) is the most common type of cartilage in the body. It covers bones at joints to help them move smoothly over each other and provides cushioning at areas where bones rub together.

Additionally, it enables us to bend and twist without experiencing pain or discomfort. Hyaline cartilage is composed of collagen fibers embedded in an elastic-like matrix made up mostly of water molecules. It’s this combination that gives it its unique strength and flexibility. 

With cartilage injuries in a joint, it is the wearing down or trauma of this hyaline cartilage layer that begins to cause patients to experience pain, swelling, popping, and stiffness.

Identifying Cartilage Injury Symptoms 

Cartilage injuries can be difficult to spot, as they do not always result in visible signs or symptoms. However, there are certain clues that can help you determine if you have a cartilage injury. 

Here are some of the common indicators of a cartilage injury:

Joint Pain and Swelling 

One of the earliest signs of a cartilage injury is joint pain and swelling. This pain is typically felt when the joint is moved or put under pressure. The swelling around the joint may also be accompanied by redness, tenderness, and warmth to the touch—all signs that something isn’t quite right with your joints. 

Cracking Sounds 

If you start to hear cracking or popping sounds from your joints, you should not take it lightly, as it could point to a cartilage injury. Cartilage plays a crucial role in providing cushioning and joint stability; any wear or tear on such an important part of the body could lead to pain and immobility.

While sometimes these sounds may indicate wear and tear that comes with age, if you are on the younger side and find yourself consistently hearing these noises when moving your joint, it would be wise to seek out an orthopedic evaluation.

Don’t take chances with joint health – if you suspect something isn’t right, check in with Dr. Capogna for a proper diagnosis.

Loss of Range of Motion 

Cartilage injuries are often accompanied by a decrease in range of motion. If you cannot move your affected joint through its full range—or if certain motions cause more pain than usual—it could be a sign of an underlying cartilage injury.

This symptom can also worsen over time, so getting medical attention as soon as possible is important if you suspect something might be wrong. 

Diagnosis & Treatment 

The most common initial method for diagnosing a cartilage injury is an X-ray. However, an MRI or CT scan may be necessary for further evaluation. Treatment for cartilage injuries typically includes rest and physical therapy to help improve the range of motion and reduce inflammation in the affected area.

In more severe cases where surgery has required the type of surgery depends on the type and extent of the cartilage damage in your knee. Small focal areas of cartilage damage in young people can be treated with cartilage transplantation surgery. Larger surface cartilage damage in older people is typically treated with knee replacement surgery. 

How Long Does it Take for a Cartilage Injury to Heal? 

The recovery time for a cartilage injury varies depending on its severity; however, it typically takes six weeks to three months for most simple injuries to heal completely.

During this time period, it’s important to follow Dr. Capogna’s instructions carefully and avoid activities that could aggravate the injury until it fully healed. Additionally, medications such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) can help reduce inflammation during recovery time. 


Cartilage injuries are a common type of joint damage caused by trauma or overuse that can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited mobility if left untreated.

If you suspect you may have suffered a cartilage injury due to an accident or repetitive movement activity like sports or exercise, then it’s important that you seek medical attention right away so that appropriate treatment can begin as soon as possible—ideally within 24 hours after the initial trauma occurred—in order maximize your chances of full recovery from this painful condition.

The typical healing time for these types of injuries ranges from 6 weeks up to 3 months, depending on each individual case, so following Dr. Capogna’s instructions carefully during this period is essential for a successful recovery with minimal discomfort along the way!

Contact Dr. Capogna @ 516-627-8717 or request an immediate appointment at https://www.orthopaedicassociatesmanhasset.com/request-an-appointment/.

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