It is estimated that 36% of athletes have a cartilage defect in the knee. (Flanigan et.al. medicine and science in sports and exercise 2010). Various surgical options exist for the treatment of chondral defects such as debridement, abrasion, micro-fractures, transplantation of cartilage from other normal areas of the knee joint and autologous chondrocyte implantation, which is very expensive and requires two separate surgical procedures.
Cartilage damage in the knee is most often caused by trauma. This can either be a single-impact injury or the micro-trauma caused by repetitive motion over time.
Injury Related Arthritis
Injuries to the knee or to the surrounding tissues and bones can cause pain, stiffness and swelling.
Thanks to advancs in medical science, today it is possible to return to athletic activities after multiple ligament injuries.
A torn meniscus can prevent the knee from functioning normally. Consequently, doctors try to repair meniscus injuries whenever possible.
When the smooth articular cartilage that surrounds and protects the knee joint's surface wears away, bone rubs against bone which can lead to painful inflammation.
An auto-immune disease that attacks and destroys the protective cartilage that covers the surface of joints, such as the knee joint, eventually leads to inflammation surrounding the tissues.