How Does Articular Cartilage Contribute To The Knee Joint
Articular cartilage function relies on its unique structure. Knee cartilage is composed of different layers of tissue. These layers act together to respond to pressure and force. They also help distribute weight evenly to the underlying bone. The surface of cartilage is slick, which helps the bones move smoothly inside the joint. That slick surface also reduces friction so painful inflammation stays at bay.
In a perfect world, our cartilage would be able to regenerate and heal itself rapidly to keep our joints moving without pain or stiffness. But in the real world, thats not the case. Unlike our skin and other tissues, articular cartilage has no blood vessels of its own to bring in nutrients. And it also has a very limited ability to repair itself. For this reason, its very important to keep your cartilage healthy to begin with. And its critically important to see Dr. Van Thiel at the first sign of joint pain or stiffness.
Disease Burden And Treatment Trends
Cartilage injuries are extremely common, and lesions are often present in asymptomatic patients. For instance, Curl et al. reported that 63% of knee arthroscopies for any indication identified chondral lesions, 32% of which had exposed bone, categorizing them as grade IV on the Outerbridge scale. Widuchowski et al. supported this high prevalence, reporting chondral lesions in 15,074 of 25,124 arthroscopies . Of these, 9% of patients had Grade III or IV chondral lesions and were under 50 years old, meeting conservative indications for cartilage repair surgery. In both studies, the authors found that concomitant ligamentous or meniscal pathology was present in ~70% of cases, corresponding to the high prevalence of traumatic etiology in these patients. The disease burden of cartilage injuries is also growing, with the annual incidence of cartilage injuries increasing from 22/100,000 in 1996 to 61/100,000 in 2011, across all age groups and sexes. The percent of cartilage injuries treated ranged from 13.8 to 22.1% during this time period, yet only 1% of these repair procedures involved advanced techniques such as chondrocyte transplantation.
Yearly incidence rate of primary total knee replacement and cartilage surgeries including chondroplasty, microfracture, and restoration . Data presented as incidence per 100,000 persons
Immobility Or Reduced Activity
Just like the muscles, cartilage should be put into constant use to maintain them in a healthy condition.
In situations such as chronic diseases where people are bedridden, or in paralysis where the individual cant put the affected joint to use, cartilage begins to reduce in size and degenerate a process called atrophy.
Nowadays, advancements in medicine and scientific knowledge have made it easier to understand how new cartilage can be produced.
Lets take a look at how that occurs.
Read Also: How Much Does Aflac Pay For Knee Surgery
Plant Compounds That Reduce Joint Cartilage Loss
Osteoarthritis drugs do not prevent cartilage degeneration. Three botanical extracts can help repair joint damage and reduce cartilage loss.
Scientifically reviewed by: Andrew Roberts Jr., MPH in Global Health, MS in Medical Health, on February 2020. Written By Corey Pine.
Osteoarthritis reduces joint mobility, induces persistent pain, and diminishes quality of life.1-3
Drugs aimed at pain relief are only effective in about half of those who use them.4
An alternative has been identified with three botanical extracts that do more than mask symptoms: They may repair damage caused by the disease.
Osteoarthritis causes loss of cartilage that sets off a vicious cycle ofinflammation. This contributes to destruction of joint cartilage and worsening of the condition.
Compelling data reveals how three plant extracts can reduce damage tocartilage and bone in arthritis-afflicted joints while suppressing pain and inflammation.4-6
Research findings suggest that early intervention with these botanical combinations may help prevent cartilage damage,4-6 making them a unique way to beneficially modify joint structure and function.
Is Hiking Downhill Bad For Your Knees
Due to impairment in knee-joint-position, hiking downhill exponentially increases the force applied to your knees leading to a greater chance of pain and injury.3
Most knee injuries occur from improperly hiking downhill but with a little focus on the right techniques, you can minimize the impact on your knees and enjoy your descent.
More on the proper techniques for hiking downhill below
Recommended Reading: Dcf Compression Knee Sleeve
Role Of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields : I
Preclinical studies have shown that pulsed electromagnetic fields , with specific physical signal parameters ,in vitro favor the proliferation of chondrocytes, stimulate proteoglycan synthesis, and demonstrate A2A adenosine receptor agonist activity.-In vivo, I-ONE therapy prevents degeneration of articular cartilage and downregulates the synthesis and release of proinflammatory cytokines in the synovial fluid.- These findings suggest that I-ONE therapy may be used in humans to control joint inflammation and to stimulate cartilage anabolic activities, finally resulting in chondroprotection. Clinical studies show that I-ONE therapy is an effective chondroprotective treatment for patients, without any negative side effects, that limits inflammation, reduces recovery time, and ultimately preserves a healthy articular cartilage of the knee., The positive results are maintained also at 3 years follow-up. Our authors from Milan prospectively followed up 32 patients treated with I-ONE therapy for 1 year . Patients showed significant improvement in all scores at final follow-up . The data of their work further confirm the findings of previous clinical studies, which showed the benefits of using I-ONE therapya noninvasive, specific, and local biophysical treatmentin order to control the inflammatory process and to provide faster functional recovery without any side effects.
I-ONE pulsed electromagnetic fields generator.
How To Rebuild Knee Cartilage Naturally
As discussed previously, researchers used to believe that articular cartilage could not regenerate on its own because it had no blood supply, which of course is the primary pathway of nutrient delivery to tissues.
However,studies have shown that there is some evidence that articular cartilage can be stimulated to grow naturally.
We always recommend a preventive approach to wellness, so here are a few tips to help rebuild your cartilage naturally:
- Eat foods that are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C to help synthesize more collagen in your body.
- Eat brown rice and other sources of hyaluronic acid to ensure your joints are well lubricated and that your joint cartilage is not wearing out.
- Maintain healthy exercise habits to keep your joints in shape and to prevent atrophy of the articular cartilage.
- Make it a habit to include herbal supplements in your diet like these that have beneficial properties for preventing and alleviating joint deterioration.
Studies have also shown that certain traditional plants have the ability to increase the synthesis of collagen, which then boosts the activity of chondrocytes in forming more cartilage. Such plants include Pleurostyia capensis, Pterocarpus angolensis, and Eucomis autumnalis.
We hope this helps you learn how to increase cartilage in your joints naturally so you can avoid the pain and suffering associated with joint deterioration.
Recommended Reading: Flying After Knee Replacement Surgery
What You Need To Know
- Knee arthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage in the joint wears down, making the knee stiff and painful with certain movements.
- Osteoarthritis gradual, age-related degeneration of cartilage is the most common form of arthritis in the knee, but trauma and autoimmune conditions can also lead to cartilage damage.
- The cartilage damage associated with arthritis is irreversible, but there are nonsurgical and surgical treatments that can help reduce pain, increase joint flexibility and improve overall quality of life for people with knee arthritis.
How To Take Care Of Your Joints
Just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage that cushions your joints can break down, too. It’s a condition called osteoarthritis. And without enough padding, your bones will hurt when they rub against each other.
Frayed cartilage can’t heal or grow back. “There’s no way to reverse the arthritis once it has started,” says Michaela M. Schneiderbauer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. But you can ease the pain and protect the cartilage you still have. Use these tips to slow the damage.
1. Slim down if you’re overweight. It will help take stress off your knees and hips. Every pound you lose removes 4 pounds of pressure off your knee. That lessens wear and tear in the joint, Schneiderbauer says. “You may actually slow the progress of arthritis if you lose a significant amount of weight.”
What’s “significant”? “Every 10 pounds you lose will reduce pain by 20%,” says Charles Bush-Joseph, MD, of Rush University Medical Center.
2. Do aerobic exercise. Arthritis pain may make you reluctant to work out, but research shows that pain and stiffness get worse when you aren’t active enough. Regular exercise that gets your heart pumping will boost your blood flow, which keeps cartilage well nourished. And an extra benefit: it helps you reach a healthy weight.
“A strong muscle will prevent a limb from slapping down on the pavement and jarring the joint,” Bush-Joseph says.
Also Check: Can Cartilage Be Rebuilt
Return To Sport After Cartilage Surgery
As per post op meniscus surgery paragraph
As the knee joint cartilage has been damaged, activities such as long distance running are not recommended as this can result in rapid deterioration of the knee joint cartilage.
It is best to delay leisure activities or sports for 6 weeks to allow the meniscus time to heal and repair.
Get Help For Painful Knees
If your cartilage is already damaged, dont despair. Even though cartilage isnt great at repairing itself on its own, there are cartilage restoration procedures that can help. Dr. Van Thiel is a leader in state-of-the-art cartilage restoration treatments. At OrthoIllinois, Dr. Van Thiel offers several options, including tissue grafts, cell implants and other cutting-edge treatments.
Knee pain isnt always caused by arthritis but all types of knee pain need medical evaluation to prevent serious joint problems. If youre having knee pain, swelling or any other signs of joint damage, dont ignore your symptoms. Call OrthoIllinois today at 774-1110 and schedule an office visit with Dr. Van Thiel.
Don’t Miss: What Is Nano Knee Replacement
How To Regrow Collagen In The Knee
Collagen is a plentiful protein and vital component of muscles, organs, skin, tendons and connective tissue, such as cartilage. Cartilage, found in the knee and throughout the body, acts as shock-absorbing padding between bones, protecting joints and facilitating movement. With age, collagen production slows and cartilage degenerates, often resulting in pain, stiffness and inflammation that can lead to osteoarthritis. Food alone can’t replace collagen in your knee joints, but certain nutrients can help preserve the collagen you have and optimize your bodys own collagen synthesis.
Foods That Help Your Joints
Eating foods good for joints and cartilage may help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, including osteoarthritis and gout. In some cases, you might even be able to prevent or delay their progression.
Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., of Tufts University, states that eating to protect your joints can potentially reduce painful inflammation and annoying stiffness. By adding exercise to a healthy diet, you’ll likely lose weight, which also helps ease the stress on your hip and knee joints. Even a small reduction in body weight is a step in the right direction.
Per Dr. Nelson, you should consume one or more servings of fish, nuts, soy and legumes each day. Limit meat, eggs and poultry to two servings daily. Add three servings of vegetables, three servings of fruits and four to nine servings of starches, with at least half from whole grain sources.
Between two and three servings of reduced-fat milk, cheese and yogurt cover the dairy category. Omega-3 oils are very desirable, but you should limit all other oils and fats. It’s also advisable to limit your consumption of sugary foods.
Dr. Nelson’s recommendations are based on smaller size “servings” rather than heaping portions that often fill diners’ plates. Also, making these healthy foods a priority means your plate won’t have much room for calorie-packed processed foods that don’t provide much nutrition. These principles also provide a good foundation for an osteoarthritis diet.
Also Check: Can Knee Replacement Cause Neuropathy
Foods That Increase Bone Cartilage & Regenerate I
Injured cartilage typically does not heal on its own, so doctors have developed several surgical techniques that attempt to repair, regenerate, and replace cartilage. These surgeries can be performed on almost any joint, but they are most commonly performed on knees Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a way to regenerate, in mice and human tissue, the cushion of cartilage found in joints
Medical Treatments for Cartilage Regrowth. Here are some ways to regenerate/ repair/ replace worn or damaged cartilages: Minimally invasive surgical methods for cartilage repair include options like: Chondroplasty and Debridement. Other methods include: Knee Microfracture, Knee Drilling and Knee Abrasion Arthroplasty The scientists observed that cartilage age was greatest at the hip, moderate at the knee and the youngest cartilage was found in the ankle. This may explain why injuries to ankles heal quicker than those of knees or hip joint injuries, and why there is a lower incidence of ankle arthritis as compared to knee or hip arthritis Humans may lack the salamander skill of regrowing a limb, but a new study suggests they do have some capacity to restore cartilage in their joints. The findings run counter to a widely held belief: Because the cartilage cushioning your joints lack..
Recommended Reading: How To Pop Your Knee
Foods That Help Regenerate Cartilage
To encourage better knee health, it’s important to minimize the rate of cartilage deterioration and take the steps needed for cartilage repair. Fisher-Titus Medical Center points out that consuming certain foods is a step in the right direction. On top of that, it supports your transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Examples of knee cartilage repair food include oily fish, such as sardines and salmon. Consuming these healthy proteins may help decrease joint pain and general morning stiffness due to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish. If you find it difficult to eat the recommended two weekly servings, consider taking omega-3 or krill oil supplements.
Add generous servings of antioxidant-rich vegetables like broccoli, spinach, spring greens and parsley to your diet. These leafy veggies may help slow the rate of cartilage deterioration.
Next, chop up some onions and garlic. Onions contain quercetin, an inflammation-reducing antioxidant. Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound that can provide some relief for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
You May Like: Knee Brace Infomercial
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee: What Can I Do To Strengthen My Knees
Strength and mobility exercises are among the most important things people with osteoarthritis can do for their knees. These exercises can relieve pain, strengthen the joints, and improve joint function. Theres no need to worry about damaging your joints if you do the right kind of exercises.
Many people with osteoarthritis avoid sports and exercise for fear of putting additional strain on their joints and wearing them out faster. But theres no need to worry about that: In fact, lack of movement is bad for the joints. For one thing, movement is important for the metabolic processes in the joint cartilage. Also, exercise can strengthen muscles, improve joint stability, and increase range of motion. This not only protects the knee but also helps in everyday life for example, when climbing stairs or getting up from a chair.
Even if your joints hurt, its usually best to keep moving. But many people who have painful and stiff joints find that hard to do. Thats why its very important to find the right type of exercise that you enjoy, too. Exercising in a group can help to motivate you.
Direct Trauma To Joints
Some people start having cartilage complications when theyre involved in some sort of activity that exposed their joints to heavy impact.
Classic examples are automobile accidents and/or a bad fall such as in contact sports.
Unlike joint disease where the cartilage is literally eaten away, trauma can causetearing of the cartilage or just a displacement of articular cartilage from its usual location.
Don’t Miss: Nano Knee Cost
When To See A Doctor
Joint laxity decreases with age, and it can become difficult to tell which aches and pains are a normal part of a maturing body and which signal injury or chronic disease. Arthritis, meniscus and ligament tears, fractures, and other serious conditions usually require a proper diagnosis. You should see a doctor if your creaks and aches progress to any of the following symptoms:
- Inability to walk
Improving Range Of Motion Muscle Strength And Weight Control Can Help Reduce Pain And Make Your Knees Feel Younger
Knee pain is common in older age, often caused by osteoarthritis . Fortunately, there are ways to fool Father Time and postpone knee problems or even prevent them entirely. “In many cases, you can delay or avoid the need for surgical intervention, such as a knee replacement,” says Dr. Lars Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
You May Like: Best Knee Walker 2016
Institute For Cartilage Repair
The HSS Institute for Cartilage Repair focuses on the treatment of symptomatic cartilage lesions. Articular cartilage, the cartilage that lines joints such as the knee, hip, ankle and shoulder, does not have the capability to repair itself. As such, injuries to cartilage surfaces often result in pain, poor joint function, and arthritis. The Institute for Cartilage Repair was developed by a skilled group of clinicians in response to growing clinical need for more durable cartilage and meniscal repair procedures. Its multidisciplinary team of surgeons, radiologists, clinicians, physical therapists, and researchers have focused on the problems of detecting and treating cartilage injury for many years and offer the latest in surgical treatment, diagnostic imaging, and clinical outcomes research. The Institute offers patients a comprehensive resource in specialty cartilage repair.