The knee is the joint in the body that is most susceptible to cartilage injury issues.
The knee joint is composed of three bones, a femur, a tibia and a patella bone.
There are two types of cartilage in the knee joint – the articular cartilage and the meniscus, which aids in shock absorption.
Cartilage injuries can occur in various situations but are most often the result of:
- Sports related injuries,
- Old Age
Cartilage is the tough flexible connective tissue that gives shape, support and connection between joints.
Normal articular cartilage, also known as hyaline cartilage, provides a smooth crystal clear gliding surface to aid in the motion of the joints.
The structure of hyaline cartilage is divided into four layers, designed to achieve and maintain proper function over the majority of a person’s life.
However, if the cartilage is subjected to overuse, improper alignment, or injury it begins to wear away leaving bone to rub on bone.
While articular cartilage does not have the ability to heal itself, there are several treatment options available to aid in the repair of injured cartilage.
TREATMENT FOR CARTILAGE DAMAGE
When cartilage is damaged and arthritis is severe most people believe that a total knee replacement may be their only option.
TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT – not without complications which may include:
- Persistence of Pain
- Blood Clots
- Necessity to Repeat Surgery Every 10 Years
While total knee replacement is the most predictable option to treat arthritis of the knee joint, there are many different treatment options available to patients.
The goal in treating injured cartilage is to reduce pain and improve the function of the affected area, especially by using Ultrasound imaging for precise injection therapy.
Anti-inflammatory medications are commonly used to combat injured cartilage but they can potentially cause cardiovascular or gastrointestinal toxicity.
Damaged cartilage can also be treated with a series of injections, like;
- STEROID INJECTIONS
- Such as cortisone are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs used in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
- HYALURONIC ACID INJECTION
- Is a substance produced naturally in the body and is present within the cartilage.
- When isolated hyaluronic acid is a thick viscous solution that can be added to the natural hyaluronic acid of the knee joint
this solution uses purified hyaluronic acid derived from either rooster combs or genetically engineered cells.
- Modified sugar formed by the human body and used to form larger molecules involved in the formation and repair of cartilage.
Other treatment methods available are:
- GROWTH FACTORS
- STEM CELLS
It is logical to pursue and recognize the efficacy of other treatments due to the fact that once a total knee replacement is performed, there is little that can be done if pain does persist. Also, it is beneficial to explore more conservative options before undergoing a surgery with substantial recovery time.
Methods that harness the power of growth factors and stem cells in cartilage regeneration can be advantageous because it allows the patient to regenerate their own cartilage rather than for it to be replaced with an artificial joint.
THE IMPORTANT FACTOR
The key to any of the joint treatments mentioned above is EXTREME PRECISION.
In order to reach the cartilage site, the injection must be directed towards the gap present in between the two bones.
If the injection is slightly off, the medication will not get into the knee joint and the treatment will be ineffective.
Joint injections performed without imaging miss the joint as much as 30% of the time.
At Dr. Halland Medical, we take it one step further by using advanced technologies and modern regenerative medicine therapies to ensure patients get the best results.
Dr. Halland, MD is a NYC Knee Pain Specialist, who uses advanced digital imaging such as ultrasound imaging which enables him to safely and precisely deliver therapies to affected areas.
With direct visualization, he can ensure accurate placement of the injection with a greater margin of safety.
Physicians inject pain medications in combination with anesthesia directly into the site of injury to relieve the pain.
Using ultrasound imaging for injection therapy has the following benefits;
- Safe and Effective Imaging Technique
- High Resolution Images
- Accurate Diagnosis for Musculoskeletal Conditions
- Advance Precise Injections Deep into the Target Site
- No Damage to Surrounding Tissues
- Minimally Invasive & Faster recovery