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Cartilage Injuries

What Are Cartilage Injuries?

Cartilage is the shiny connective tissue lining bones that does many different jobs in the body, including acting as a cushion between joints and acting as the bridge between some bones. Damage to the cartilage can result in joint stiffness, inflammation, clicking and pain with daily activities. Cartilage damage can occur from:

  • Sports injury

  • Sudden injury or direct blow, such as a car accident or fall

  • Overuse from sports or repetitive movements during work

  • Lack of movement


Symptoms of cartilage damage include:

  • Joint pain or tenderness – Damaged cartilage may create tenderness around the affected joint.

  • Limited movement – You may find it difficult to fully straighten or bend the affected joint.

  • Stiffness – Moving may become difficult after sleeping or sitting still.

  • Inflammation – Damaged or injured cartilage created inflammation in and around the joint causing swelling and stiffness.

Treatment Options

Depending on the extent of your injury, treatment may include a combination of non-surgical and surgical treatments. Your provider will work closely with you to tailor a plan that addresses your injury and helps you reach your goals – whether that’s getting back on the playing field or just enjoying life pain free.

Treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist will work closely with your physician to develop exercises to help restore strength and function at the affected area.

  • MedicationAnti-inflammatories help to reduce swelling and inflammation.

  • Injections – Steroid injections may be beneficial to reduce inflammation related to cartilage injury.

  • Surgery – If conservative treatments don’t alleviate your symptoms, your provider may discuss surgical options. Temple Health is pleased to offer a wide range of procedures, including arthroscopy, debridement, marrow stimulation, cartilage regeneration and restoration procedures, such as osteochondral transplant, autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI-trademarked) and meniscal transplant, to help treat your cartilage injury.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of cartilage injuries, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat cartilage injuries.