Cartilage is a strong and flexible tissue that covers the surface of the bones in a joint. It provides cushioning and a smooth, lubricated layer between the bones. But unlike skin or muscle tissue, has limited ability to repair itself because it has no blood vessels or nerves. An untreated defect can grow larger over time, leading to degeneration of the joint.
How Cartilage is Damaged
Cartilage damage can result from an injury or imperfect alignment or instability of the joint. Or it can simply result from wear and tear. Minor injuries may heal over a few weeks or months, but more serious damage can often require surgery.
Treatment depends on many factors, such as the size and location of the defect, your biological age, general health status and activity levels. The goal is always to repair the cartilage, alleviate pain, restore joint function, and prevent the progression of damage.