Articular Cartilage Damage

  • The articular cartilage covers the ends of the bones and forms the smooth frictionless surface that allows the joint to articulate
  • Damage can be due to a single blow to repetitive trauma may result in anything from fissuring (splits) or delamination (peeling layers)
  • Damage can be from partial thickness to full thickness damage where it has gone down to bone (technically an arthritic lesion)
  • Articular cartilage has no ability to heal by itself
  • There are several cartilage repair techniques which aim to grow new cartilage however it is not exactly articular cartilage but more fibrous cartilage (which is functional, but not as good)
  • Repair techniques work better in younger age groups and seldom work/not attempted in patients above 55-60yrs of age