Health Tips

Search by health tip group
Search by keyword

Health Tips / Knee- Cartilage

Diagnosis and Symptons

Two types of cartilage are found in the knee, the meniscus and articular.
Meniscus cartilage lubricates, reduces friction and acts as a shock absorber at the junction of the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). Meniscus cartilage is liable to tearing during severe or repeated impact.
Articular, or hyaline, cartilage covers the ends of the femur and tibia and is responsible for smooth movement by reducing friction.


Torn cartilage often occurs suddenly, with a tearing sensation, followed by severe pain and swelling. The athlete may fall over and have difficulty walking. Long term symptoms often include pain on the side of the knee during turning or twisting. Joint instability or a locking sensastion often occur. Occasionally a clicking sound is heard on movement.

Preventative measures

Prevention centres around reducing impact damage. Every pound in excess of normal weight is equivalent to three or four pounds extra pressure on the knee during maximum exercise. Proper warm-up and stretching is essential. Leg muscle strengthening through exercises and weights may help prevent injury. Flexibility and strength of tendons and muscles such as quadriceps and hamstrings is essential so they can absorb stress and shock.
Repetitive impact sports such as running are more likely to result in cartilage damage than non-impact sports such as swimming or cycling.


For serious injury always consult your doctor or physiotherapist. 
To find a Chartered Physiotherapist in your area check

Related health tips:
Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00