Symptoms and Diagnosis

Articular Cartilage Injuries of the Knee Symptoms and Diagnosis

Injuries to articular cartilage of the knee can be caused by trauma, such as a fall or twisting injury while playing sports. Defects can also occur due to repetitive motion over time, with a slower onset of symptoms.

Knee pain and swelling are typical with this type of injury. Patients may also experience catching and locking of the knee, and experience instability of the joint.

The first step toward a diagnosis is a visit to a physician, who will obtain a detailed history regarding the onset of symptoms and perform a comprehensive physical exam. X-rays may be ordered to look for fractures, loose fragments, bone spurs and joint space narrowing. MRI may also be ordered to evaluate the articular cartilage and the bone beneath it. Results of this imaging will help the physician determine how serious the injury is and establish a treatment plan.