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While Chondral injuries may sound like a scary and unfamiliar medical condition, this simply refers to injuries occurring to cartilage, which is what covers the end of bones to prevent damage to them from movement. The most common types of chondral injuries occur in the knee and can cause intense pain due to the bones in the knee rubbing against each other with no buffer and are called lesions. Depending on the severity of the injury, the pain can even become debilitating and affect day to day life. The two types of Chondral lesions that occur are either degenerative or traumatic. Degenerative injuries occur due to years of movement eroding the amount of cartilage in the knee, whereas traumatic ones occur from one incident causing significant damage.
The first step to fixing any Chondral injury is getting an accurate diagnosis of it. These injuries can have a wide range in severity: from grade one lesions which are minor soft spots in the cartilage to grade four lesions that include a full tear to the bone. Cartilage can wear away, fracture, or tear and all to varying degrees, so it is incredibly important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to prevent it from worsening. The most common indicators for Chondral lesions are swelling around the knee, pain, limited range of movement, locking or clicking sounds from the knee, and stiffness.
If you experience any of these symptoms it might be necessary to schedule an appointment with a medical professional for further examination. Depending on the judgment from their physical examination, or imaging from x-rays, they will likely schedule a knee arthroscopy in order to fully evaluate the knee and surrounding cartilage. Knee arthroscopies are minimally invasive and allow the doctor to make the most accurate diagnosis possible with no incisions made into muscle and minimal bleeding and recovery time.
Treatment of Chondral injuries depends greatly on what type of lesion it is and how severe. For many cases, knee arthroscopies offer an effective solution to fixing damage to cartilage while remaining as minimally invasive as possible. Many of the most common lesions that occur from traumatic injuries are treated using this method such as, ACL and PCL tears. Mild arthritis can also be cured using this treatment method.
For injuries that knee arthroscopy is not deemed to be the most effective method of treatment, the use of long-term treatment plans can often prove successful. For cases of Osteoarthritis (degenerative), this is most likely the treatment method your doctor will go with. Within these treatment methods, there are various methods of helping to alleviate the pain from chronic wear and tear. These can include physical therapy, bracing, rest, or medication that will reduce inflammation.
Overall, the outlook of a Chondral injury diagnosis depends on the nature and severity of it. However, in almost all cases there is a treatment method out there that will help to alleviate or completely relieve the pain. Even better, few cases require the need for highly invasive surgery and instead can be treated in ways that will hopefully have you up and about in no time. To learn more about Chondral injuries and for a comprehensive orthopaedic evaluation, schedule a visit today.
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