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Author Topic: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?  (Read 2449 times)

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Offline s_

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What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« on: August 02, 2014, 03:00:35 AM »
Hi all,

I am 25 year old and having a tough summer dealing with some really gnarly knee pain I sustained while simply passing around a soccer ball a couple months ago. However, I am struggling to figure out exactly what is, which of course makes it really challenging to treat. After thinking with my doctor I had a meniscus issue, I had a scope which only was able to clean up some scar tissue and accordingly did not resolve the issue.

Now, a month after, the same pain I was having before the surgery is back, and definitely with a vengeance. The pain is really bizarre and I will do my best to describe it.

I can feel something like a weird grinding/vibrating sensation "in" my knee (Not in the same way I imagine tendonitis to do) when I move my feet up and down after having them placed on the ground (especially noticeable when driving), or even sometimes lying down flat on my back with an ace bandage on and rotating my leg while just having my heel on the ground. I also can push at my patella with my fingers and create the same painful grinding sensation, and sometimes I even feel like my patella is "loose" or floating in ways it should not be (this is also most noticeable when going over even minor bumps while driving). And my leg is swollen just above the knee, where the vmo muscles reside, slightly above the patella.   After a good night's rest I can walk a little around the house, but ultimately, at the end of the day I am really unable to do anything and have to lie down by 8 pm just to have some semblance of comfortability.

(I don't know if this is connected, but being in airplanes has also been an issue with this mystery injury. But I feel that that has to do with the air pressure, not necessarily the extended amount of time sitting down. This could also be a totally different problem to be perfectly honest, but wanted to make mention of it in case anyone had had a similar experience.)

After doing extensive reading, and trying to understand the anatomy of the knee (which was definitely an exercise in humility and a reminder of why I could not have studied biology as a student) I think that this could be damage to my articular cartilage at the back of my kneecap or bottom of my femur, but am really just guessing?

If anyone has had any experiences with such an injury or anyone has had injuries that meet the symptoms described above, I would exceptionally grateful if they could tell me of their experiences.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and any help would be extraordinarily appreciated.

Offline LAS

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 04:54:34 AM »
Hi S-: Grinding in your knee could be bone on bone which means the articular  cartilage is worn down to the bone behind the kneecap.  Do you know if you have any chrondromalacia (a softening of the cartilage).   I have articular cartilage damage (chrondromalacia).  I don't have grinding but they ache all the time.   At the end of the day I feel exhausted.  There is a loss of strength in the knees and I  need  to be off my feet in the evening.   Sometimes I do get what is called referred pain to the back of the knee itself and also I get that pins and needles feeling in the kneecap. It's funny cause if I do too much exercise it bothers me and if I don't do enough my knees will stiffen up. Make sure you have a balance there. Talk to a physical therapist about that.   I don't have swelling but it sounds like you may have some and really the resting, icing, elevating ,anti-inflammatory medication will help that.  If it is chrondromalacia you can get the synvisc injections and sometimes that helps.  That also helps meniscus problems since you have had that as well.  You should talk to your physician.  Get a better diagnosis.  I don't know how old you are but there are some very knowledgeable kneegeeks who could advise you.
I understand that in I think Europe they are trying chrondrofiller.  Most of these procedures are an option for the younger patient.  If you had  arthroscopic surgery, they would of seen this condition, did what is call a microfracture procedure and should of told you.   My orthopedic surgeon calls it worn cartilage.   Also after meniscus surgery you can get arthritis.  I did and it's the same symptoms as the chrondromalacia in the kneecap.  I hope this helps.   LAS

Offline s_

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2014, 05:56:31 AM »
LAS,

thanks so much for writing back to me. Can softening of the cartilage, chondromalacia, come from an acute injury, or is caused in a different way?

I definitely understand the aches you're describing, but I would say the grinding sensation is probably the most evident symptoms of my knee problem. With your knees, I suppose before your strengthening, did your knee cap ever feel "loose"?

I will be speaking with a doctor hopefully this week, so I will hopefully be able to learn more. But, I fear that they might have missed noticing articular cartilage issues, as the scope was focused on my meniscus, in quite a different part of the knee. So you know if this is possible?

Also, do you have any sense of maltracking associated with your issue.

Thanks so much again for your input.

best,
S

Offline LAS

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 12:48:49 AM »
Hi:  Yes chondromalacia can be caused by a sudden impact.   It also can be wear and tear which is what I  suffer from.   My kneecap never felt loose as you described.  As far as I know I never had a maltracking problem and I don't think they really ever studied me for that.  I had  2 meniscus tears which they took care of and they found articular cartilage damage and this was in both knees.   More than likely they scoped your  whole knee and they would of seen chondromalacia.  It's part of the arthroscopic exam.   I would definitely ask the Dr. about this.   I wasn't aware I had this.  The surgeon said he took care of the tears and that I have worn cartilage.  I assumed he meant the meniscus but it was in addition to, that the articular cartilage was damaged.  I have been getting cortisone injections and now the synvisc injections and they do help somewhat.  It gets you through the day and a little bit more.  You can also have instability of the knee, giving out and catching. 
With your kneecap moving around, you have something else going on and needs to be looked into.  The grinding could be the ends of you bones rubbing  together and that will cause fluid in your kneecap.   Hopefully this helps.  Let us know the results   LAS
 

Offline s_

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 03:57:32 AM »
I'll let you know what the doc says come thursday, LAS. Appreciate your insight.

Offline tinydinosaur

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2014, 09:55:04 PM »
You could ask to see your surgery report, it would mention all that was seen (mine mention a lesion). as to the type of pain, if it's severe cartilage damage it feels like either your bones are scraping together - literally, or your bones/joint is bottoming out on itself.

your doctor or a physio would be able to test for laxity of your ligaments, over-mobility of the kneecap. before mine was fixed (tracking problems), sitting down with my leg straight you could push it right out without much pressure.

If they did not repair the meniscus, it's possible the same pain has returned after recovery of the surgery - your doctor should also be able to test for this, depending on where the tear is. i think it's called murphys test?

good luck with your doctor!

Offline s_

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 05:20:13 PM »
Hi TinyDino,

Thanks for info. I found the test you're describing here as the McMurray test, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwBW-X4n1fU. I'll also be sure to get the report and as much information from the doctor as I can.

During my scope, my meniscus looked good, and the pain is not coming from there. I have a theory that it is coming from above my knee, from some type of articular cartilage at the base of the femur, or underside of my kneecap. And that it is irritating and swelling and causing all this pain, discomfort, lack of stability and weird grinding sensation. But, the good news I suppose, is that sometimes it's much better than other times, which makes me think that maybe the cartilage that is loose, if that's the case, can go back into the correctish place and make it much less painful.

I really appreciate you taking the time and sending me some luck, I'll keep you in the loop. And please let me know any other insight you have as it pertains.

Thanks.

Offline s_

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Re: What does articular/hyaline cartilage damage feel like?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 09:48:40 PM »
Hi guys,

So the current situation is that I have some pretty gnarly quad and patellar tendonitis according to my doctor. I am still deciding if this makes sense and I can accept this as the cause of my symptoms. but I plan to do some PT and will hopefully let you guys know that this has been helpful.
thanks,
S















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