Direct trauma to the joint can be caused by a sudden impact sustained in a fall or a sports injury.
Overuse injuries are caused by excessive use of a joint over time without allowing enough time for the body to recover.
Degenerative medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, may cause injury or damage to the articular cartilage.
Initially, articular cartilage injuries are treated conservatively. Conservative treatment options may help ease some of the patient’s symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications should reduce any inflammation and relieve pain and discomfort associated with this condition. In addition, physical therapy is extremely useful in helping patients regain their mobility. In some cases, steroid injections into the joint may also help reduce inflammation.
If the injury doesn’t respond to conservative treatment methods, surgery may be necessary. This may include arthroscopic surgery to wash out any loose fragments of cartilage, or shave and reshape the damaged cartilage.