The articular cartilage is a smooth white tissue in the knee where the end of the femur, tibia and patella meet to form a joint. The articular cartilage along with synovial joint provides a frictionless surface within the joint. Any damage to the articular cartilage surface results in osteoarthritis. This condition does not heal naturally and only leads to further deterioration as age progresses. Thus medical intervention is required at the earliest.
Depending on the extent of damage, the condition can be categorised into 4 grades.
For first or second grade grade (mild) simple and safe pain killers like paracetemol / tramadol combinations and topical applications are suffice to control pain. Most important additional therapy includes exercise to improve muscle strength and weight reduction or control
For third grade (moderate) arthritis or patients with mild damage who do not respond to the above treatment may need synovial fluid replacement therapy with or with out arthroscopy surgery. Removal of painful bone spurs, removal and correction of factors which may accelerate the progression of arthritis are done by arthroscopy. This may be huge advantage for younger (< 55 years) patients as total knee replacement is too early for such patients. For these techniques kindly consider the specialist who is versatile in these techniques