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Cartilage Injuries of the Knee (Part I)

Aug 11, 2022

The human body has an incredible capacity for regeneration and repair. However, articular cartilage has no blood supply of its own and therefore has a limited ability for self-repair. This is what makes cartilage disease so problematic. This means that if your cartilage is damaged and it is causing you pain, you can really only handle this situation in one of two ways. First, you can try nonoperative treatment by strengthening the muscles around the joint. Second, you can attempt cartilage restoration surgery. 

Now, the history of (successful) cartilage treatment is really not that long. In fact, some of the most recent breakthroughs in this field have been made only in the last decade. This is why the treatment of cartilage injuries and the factors that contribute to the successful recovery is not that well-known, even among seasoned physicians.

A cartilage defect in the knee is one of the most worrisome injuries amongst athletes. Now, a lot of struggling athletes are desperate to believe any half-truth they are served. To help avoid this, in today’s episode of The Sports Docs, our own Dr. Ashley Bassett, as well as Dr. Catherine Logan and special guest, Dr. Clayton Nuelle, discuss myths, studies, and new finds on this topic.

In this episode, we’ll also get Dr. Nuelle’s take on microfracture, a reparative technique and a controversial topic in sports medicine. While it undeniably still has a use, this old-school method has some serious downsides in the long run. Dr. Nuelle also discusses how it fares against some of the more innovative alternative procedures. 

Stay tuned for Part II.