Articular Cartilage Damage Care

At MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, our experienced orthopedic surgeons perform thousands of surgeries each year, including cartilage restoration surgery for articular cartilage damage. We pride ourselves on offering the least invasive surgical options to allow our patients to recover quickly from surgery and return to their regular lives faster. Our surgeons take the time to explain your unique condition and walk you through your treatment from beginning to end. Our specialists will always encourage non-surgical options when possible and recommend surgical options only when necessary.

What is articular cartilage damage?

Articular cartilage damage refers to the wearing or damage to the hard, smooth cartilage that protects the ends of your bones between joints. It is often associated with torn cartilage in the knee joint. Because cartilage does not have a direct blood supply, it is very slow to heal. When the damage is severe, it may require surgery to replace the cartilage. Often, articular cartilage damage occurs as the result of an ACL injury or a sports-related knee injury. While the knee is the most common area for articular cartilage damage, you may also experience damage to your ankle or shoulder.

What causes articular cartilage damage?

The most common causes of knee cartilage damage include the following:

What are the symptoms of articular cartilage damage?

It is important to visit an orthopedic specialist if you are suffering from any of these common symptoms of an articular cartilage injury:

  • Sudden onset of joint pain
  • Locking in the knee
  • Knee, ankle, or shoulder aching
  • Gradual onset of joint pain
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Inability to bear full weight on the knee
  • Lack of coordination in the knee
  • Joint pain when performing sports or physical activities

How is articular cartilage damage diagnosed?

At the first signs of a knee cartilage tear, it is important to speak with an orthopedic specialist.  MedStar Orthopaedic Instituteis home to experts in a wide range of orthopedic conditions who have years of experience diagnosing and treating articular cartilage damage. Your initial exam will likely include the following:

  • Medical history evaluation – Your physician will discuss your medical history with you and any relevant prior joint problems or injuries.
  • Physical exam – Your doctor will evaluate the affected area and may ask you questions about your pain level.
  • Imaging tests – Your orthopedist will also likely conduct imaging studies to rule out a fracture and accurately diagnose your condition.

What are the best articular cartilage damage treatment options?

Sometimes, when a knee cartilage injury is not severe, your orthopedist may recommend conservative options to manage your pain. These may include:

  • Ice to decrease swelling and pain
  • Avoiding activities that cause pain
  • Anti-inflammatory or pain medications
  • Elevation to reduce swelling
  • Physical therapy

 

When conservative options are not successful or when cartilage damage is severe, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute offers treatment options for restoring your cartilage, including the cartilage restoration surgery.

 

If you believe you may be suffering from articular cartilage damage, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating joint conditions and are pleased to offer comprehensive orthopedic care in the Washington, D.C. area.

Our Specialists

Sports Medicine

Evan H. Argintar, MD
Sports Medicine

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
William Postma, MD
Sports Medicine

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – McLean

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Mitchellville
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Melissa Ann Yadao, MD
Sports Medicine
PhonePhone: 866-767-1682

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge

Locations

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest Washington, DC, 20007
Phone: 202-444-8766
18109 Prince Philip Drive, Suite 325 Olney, MD, 20832
Phone: 301-774-8958
25500 Point Lookout Road, Suite 250 Leonardtown, MD, 20650
Phone: 240-434-7483
106 Irving Street Northwest, Washington, DC, 20010
Phone: 202-877-6000
1120 20th Street Northwest, Building 1 South Washington, DC, 20036
Phone: 202-416-2000
13950 Brandywine Road, 2nd Floor Brandywine, MD, 20613
Phone: 301-856-1682
5454 Wisconsin Avenue, 11th Floor Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
Phone: 301-215-9423
6355 Walker Lane, Suite 501 Alexandria, VA, 22310
Phone: 703-971-3701
12825 Minnieville Road, Suite 203 Woodbridge, VA, 22192
Phone: 703-971-3701
6858 Old Dominion Drive, Suite 200 Mc Lean, VA, 22101
Phone: 202-444-8766
11325 Pembrooke Square, Suite 115 Waldorf, MD, 20603
Phone: 301-856-1682