Almost every bone in your body forms a joint with another bone. Cartilaginous joints provide flexibility rather than a wide range of motion. There are cartilages covering the ends of the bones in your synovial joints like the knee joint to cushion and protect them. The cartilage present in the knee joint is known as the meniscus. A tear in the meniscus is the most common reason for cartilage pain.

Chondroitin is the protein molecule found in cartilages. It helps in drawing water into cartilages, making it spongier and helping to relive cartilage pain. The menisci are crescent shaped disks of cartilages found in knee joints. They help to reduce friction, stabilize the joints and absorb much of the force of impact when we use the knees for walking and running.

The meniscus does not heal very well once it is torn as it does not have a good blood supply. The outer edge of each meniscus has some blood vessels, but the area in the center has no blood supply. As a result some small outer tears may heal in time but a tear in the middle of the meniscus will tend to heal slowly. Cartilage pain due to a tear in the meniscus is often seen in athletes and sometimes it is due to a degenerative process that is often seen in older persons who have more brittle cartilage.

Some of the common symptoms of meniscal tear are tenderness when the meniscus is pressed followed by pain and swelling. Sometimes popping and swelling within the knee causes limited motion of the knee joint. Some people with cartilage pain notice a clicking sensation when they walk. A locked knee as a result of tear in the cartilage gets stuck when you bend it and you cannot straighten it without using your hands to move your leg.

Your medical practitioner may advise an x-ray of the knee to check for bone damage before starting a course of treatment for eliminating cartilage pain. If meniscal tear causes persistent troubles then a surgical procedure may be advised. The torn meniscus may be repaired and stitched back into place.

Reduced cartilage production in women after the menopause makes the knee joints feel stiffer and the muscles around the joint become weaker, so it is important for menopausal women suffering from cartilage pain to include calcium in their diet as it plays an important role in promoting muscle function.

Related Blogs