Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Expert Care for Torn Knee Cartilage

If you’re suffering with knee pain and instability, our team of sports medicine physicians can help. Board-certified sports medicine doctors at University Hospitals are highly skilled in the diagnostics and treatment of any sports injury, including torn cartilage. Our goal is your goal - to minimize your knee cartilage injury symptoms and allow you to return to your active lifestyle.

Cartilage Tears or Knee Injuries – The Best Surgical Options

Having a cartilage tear in the knee causes pain that can impact your day-to-day life. Since the cartilage cannot repair or replace itself, surgery may be the best option. The orthopedic surgeons at University Hospitals offer the following solutions for cartilage tears:

  • Implanting your own healthy cartilage cells into the damaged area
  • Removing or repairing pieces of torn cartilage through arthroscopic surgery

When surgery is the best treatment path for a cartilage tear knee injury, orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians at University Hospitals collaborate to determine the best option for each patient’s individual goals. Our experts in minimally invasive surgical interventions can repair the cartilage damage and offer you faster healing, less bleeding, and a speedier recovery.

High-Level Imaging Used for Knee Cartilage Injury

With a comprehensive physical examination and manipulation of the joint, we provide state-of-the-art imaging at University Hospitals. Our experts use full imaging capabilities to diagnose cartilage tears and associated ligament tears or fractures. Some of the imaging tests we use for possible cartilage tears include:

  • Computed tomography (CT): Creates detailed images of bones, soft tissues and blood vessels to determine injury extent.
  • Computed tomography arthrography: Specifically for cartilage injuries and cartilage tears, this image test provides accurate three-dimensional reconstructions of cartilage.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans: Can show small tears and areas of tendon, ligament, cartilage or other muscle injury.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) arthrography
  • Ultrasound: Using radio waves, this test can be used to show the extent of a cartilage injury as well as other tissues in the knee.
  • X-rays: Can be used to rule out fractures.

Understanding the Causes of Knee Cartilage Injury

There are many causes of acute or chronic knee pain, including:

  • Arthritis 
  • Bursitis 
  • Cartilage problems
  • Chronic infection
  • Cystic lesions around the joint
  • Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis)
  • Stress fractures
  • Tendon issues

Specialists at University Hospitals conduct a thorough exam to rule out more serious problems and focus on the actual cause of your knee pain or knee instability. This allows them to understand if you have a sprain, or a partial or complete cartilage tear.

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