Connective tissue made of tough and flexible material and provides a cushion between joints of bones.
If we can understand the functionalities of the cartilage. We will be in the position to understand the problems that happen due to the damage of the cartilage. Naturally, these functions will not be done or performed to the mark. This may arise from different functional abnormalities.
Functionalities of the cartilage
- The main functions of the cartilage are
- Hold the Bones
- Provide Support to Other Tissues
- Support the weight shift and provide the balance. Especially when we run, play, and bend.
- The flexibility in the cartilage helps us to shift our weight in order to create balance,
- For some parts, this is not the primary but the only building material. Like our ears are completely made of cartilage
- Make children’s development and growth possible.
- The ends of the children’s bones are made of the cartilages. With the passage of the time this cartilage develops into the solid bone structure.
Types of the cartilage
Cartilage is of three different types. These are Elastic, Fibro, and Hyaline. All of them have commonalities in addition to the specialized functionalities provided by the specific kind of the cartilage.
1. Elastic Cartilage – The Most Flexible One
This is the most flexible cartilage of the all. This is the primary material in the construction of the ear. This also makes some portion of the nose too. This is also known as the Yellow cartilage
2. Fibro Cartilage – The strongest One
This toughest type of cartilage provides support in handling the heavyweights. This type of the cartilage is present to provide support in the spine. The exact location is between vertebrae and discs.
The other area is the space between the hip and pelvis bones
3. Hyaline cartilage – Flexible and Tough
This has all three qualities of the cartilage. These are elastic, springy, and tough. These are needed and present with the ribs bones to provide the support needed. It provides support to the windpipe and the joints in the form of articular cartilage.
Unfortunately, none of these three cartilages are damage proof. Elastic, fibro, and hyaline can be damaged, and due to this damage, different problems may arise. This damage may not affect the functionality of the organ but also cause swear pain. This is sometimes unbearable to handle without the proper medical assistance.
Articular cartilage is the name given to the ruptured or the damaged cartilage. The cartilage injury is not very uncommon. one-third Americans over the age of 45, has suffered from the knee pain at least once in their life as per the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Why Cartilage Took A Longer time to heal
Most of the body tissues have a blood supply. This blood supply helps those tissues to heal. In case of the cartilage, the blood supply is missing. This is the reason that the cartilage took a longer period of time to be healed.
How to find out if Cartilage is damaged
If you have the opinion that your cartilage has been damaged. Then this is the time to look for the symptoms if these are present then this is the time to consult the doctor immediately The three most common symptoms are the inflammation, range limitation and the stiffness.
- The injured area has a high temperature in comparison to the other parts of the body.
- Extremely touch-sensitive even a light touch can cause swear pain. The pain is continuous
- The affected area has an extremely limited movement. Any attempt to move the organ results in the swear pain.
The most common area where cartilage injury can happen is the knee. Other areas where the chances of cartilage damage are relatively less are Hip joint, shoulder, ankle, shoulder, elbow, and the wrist.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that originates from an inflammation , then breakdown, and finally the cartilage damage. Resulted in the loss of cartilage protection for the joint.
Extreme cases of the cartilage damage
In some extreme cases of cartilage damage, the Joint Lock occurs. In this situation the injured joint cannot be moved and stuck. The bruises appear on the skin and hemarthrosis may occur.
For anyone of our valued readers who are unaware of the terminology hemarthrosis. Hemarthrosis is a condition when bleeding starts in the joint.
Usually this type of situation occurs when a piece from the cartilage breaks up.
The Possible Causes of the Cartilage Damage
Multiple reasons can be responsible for the damage of the cartilage. The most common are these three reasons.
- Undesired Collision
1. Undesired Collision
The undesired collision may happen in any form this can be a fall, a car accident, a fall from the bike, this can be a fall from the stairs. In any collision, if the joint received an impact that leads to the damage of the joint. The chances of cartilage damage are there.
The risk of cartilage damage for the players is higher than the general public. On the other hand, the players involved in the more adventurous games are on the higher side of the risk. One of these supports is rugby, wrestling, and X factor games.
Do not be lazy, this will damage your overall health. Do exercise regularly. This will make your joints mobile. The joints will be in the position to bear any sudden collision more appropriately. Secondly, the joints will be in the position to bear the collision more actively.
Deterioration with age is a natural phenomenon. Wear and tear happen due to day to day activities. If you do not care about your joints this will definitely result in more sweat damage to the joints.
If you are overweight, then the risk of wear and tear is higher than the person with the average weight. This is quite logical for obese people the joints have to bear continuous physical stress more than the average weighted people.
Regeneration of the Cartilage
How to Diagnosis a broken cartilage
This is always difficult to find out that if the damage is done to the cartilage or it is the ligament that is damaged. The reason is the similarity of the symptoms in both conditions. Anyhow the doctor can distinguish between both conditions easily.
1. Available diagnostic tests for the damaged Cartilage
Two diagnostic tests are popular, one is the Magnetic resonance imaging and the Arthroscopy.
2. MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
In the first technique, the detailed image is produced through the radio waves and the magnetic field. Unfortunately, this method is not as effective as sometimes the requirements are. The damaged cartilage cannot always be detected through MRI.
A tube-like structure is inserted in the joint so that the examination of the damage in detail can be done. This will then lead towards the repair of this damage. The exact magnitude of the damage can be done through this.
Two types of treatments are available one is surgical and the second is nonsurgical.
1. Non-Surgical Treatment of the Damaged Cartilage
Nonsurgical treatment is of two types of treatments. The first is exercise and the second is medicine.
Depending on the magnitude of the damage and the physical condition of the patient these exercises can be done at home. These exercises bring significant improvements in the condition of the cartilage. The medicine has again two choices one is the steroids and the other is the non steroids. Both medicines are used as per the need and the requirement
2. Surgical Treatment for the cartilage Damage
Different surgical treatments are available.. But it depends on the number of the factors.
First, this is to determine that the patient is in the right health condition to undergo the process of surgery. It depends on the age, health, the magnitude of the damage, and the time passed after the injury.
The edges of the damaged cartilage are removed. This results in the smoothness and the torn pieces will not hinder the movement of the joints. This process is known as Debridement.
The blood vessels are exposed. The blood flows and fills the place between the damaged cartilage. This will help to grow the cartilage again. This procedure is known as Marrow stimulation.
The next is the transplantation of the cartilage. The cartilage is taken from the healthy non damaged area and then crafted at the damaged area. This technique is useful for people under the age of 50 and can be applied to repair only small damages. This technique is known as Mosaicplasty.
This is a long process, two to three months are needed for this process to complete. Multiple surgeries are required to perform this process completely. A healthy piece of the broken cartilage is taken to the laboratory. Then a proper artificial growth is undertaken in the artificially controlled environment. This took 30to 90 days for the growth to be completed. Then this laboratory-grown cartilage is placed in the affected area.
Supplements Cartilage Regeneration
We are what we eat. The supplement is made with the purpose to provide you with the specific food elements. These food elements will help the body to tackle a specific problem easily. Based on this principle several food supplements are available in the market. These products are not the alternative of the regular medication suggested by your doctor to tackle the problem related to cartilage.
We highly suggest that you should consult your doctor first before starting any food supplement.
Although food supplements are not known for creating any problem. The specific medicine may react with any specific compound included in the food supplement and may create a problem. This is the reason this is highly recommended to consult your physician before starting any medication.
Turmeric is used in the food for the flavor in the food. This is the root of a plant. This is available both in the fresh and is in dried form as a spice. A compound with the anti-inflammatory characteristics named as Curcumin is found in this root.
Although this only makes up 5% of the turmeric but can be useful for treating inflammation. If you are looking for the product in the market to find this specific element. Then you may find it easily in the product just look at the label and look for the product that has 95% curcuminoids.
Same as the plant described before this also has a surprising effect. This can be used in the food. In some areas, the ginger tea is also very popular. People used to chew it after peeling and cleaning with the water. But we are about the taste of the product. The bitter taste may disturb you.
3. Fatty Acids and Omega 3
These are also known to improve joint flexibility. The joint flexibility is based on the cartilage this means that it helps in improving the cartilage condition. These elements are available in Cartilage Regeneration Supplements. You can take it in the fresh form also. Usually, these are fish oil-based but these are also available in plant form. These can be found in dark leafy vegetables.
4. Chondroitin sulfate and Glucosamine
Quite a popular substance in the United States. The reason for its popularity is its usefulness in repairing cartilage. Moreover, it has been believed widely that the substance has adequate anti-inflammatory properties. The scientific evidence however is not necessarily enough to provide support to these beliefs.
Cartilage Damage is a critical issue that needs to be handled with extreme care. Any negligence in this regard may bring adverse consequences. Multiple aids are available in the form of supplements and treatments. Both type of treatments as surgery and wit medicine is available