Articular cartilage is a substance that covers the ends of many of your bones. It cushions them during movement and provides a smooth surface for the bones in a joint to glide on. The meniscal cartilages in the knee differ from articular cartilage, and function as stabilizers and shock absorbers. Injury or certain medical conditions can cause the meniscal cartilage to tear.
Cartilage tears cause joint pain, swelling, locking, giving way, and loss of function. Arthroscopic surgery is commonly used to treat cartilage tears. Arthroscopic surgery is associated with relatively minimal pain and short recovery periods.
Cartilage covers the ends of many of your bones. It forms a smooth surface for the bones in a joint to glide on during movement. It acts as a shock absorber to cushion impacts. The menisci are specialized cartilage structures in the knee that aid stability and act as shock absorbers.
Cartilage in the knee and shoulder is especially vulnerable to tears from injury, particularly during sports. Arthritis can cause the cartilage to wear away. Chondromalacia is a term referring to cartilage softening and deterioration. Obesity puts extra stress on joints and can lead to cartilage tears, especially in the knees. Bone malalignments in the knee can contribute to uneven pressure and cartilage tears.