The cartilage that cushions your joints and the bones themselves play important roles in your health and well-being. And while a fracture may sound more severe than a cartilage injury, both injuries can be equally serious. A cartilage injury may even be more problematic.
With either, getting appropriate care can go a long way — and we're here to help.
Board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Stephen Fisher and the team at our offices in Cumming and Buford, Georgia, provide friendly, customized care using advanced treatments for cartilage and bone injuries so you can get back to a fuller, more comfortable life.
Cartilage vs. bone injury basics
When you have a cartilage injury, the tissue that cushions and protects your joints has been damaged. When you have a bone injury, the bone itself has been damaged.
Cartilage injuries often affect the cartilage in the ankles, hips, elbows, shoulders and most commonly, knees. Common bone injuries include partial or total fractures in the arms, ankles, wrists, and hips.
These injuries can happen suddenly, when you take a spill or play a sport, or over time, as a wear-and-tear injury. If you’re a runner, for example, you could suffer a stress fracture. If you use your knees frequently at work or home, you could experience gradual cartilage damage.
The seriousness of cartilage and bone injuries depends on factors like the nature and location of the injury, your age, and your overall health.
Cartilage vs. bone injury symptoms
Cartilage injuries and bone injuries can cause similar symptoms ranging from mild to debilitating. Your symptoms can also overlap if you experience both injuries at once — such as after falling and damaging your hip bones and the cartilage surrounding them.
Common cartilage injury symptoms include joint locking, pain, stiffness, and swelling. You might also notice a grinding or popping sensation when you use the affected joint.
Bone fracture symptoms may include pain, bruising, swelling, or bleeding. Bone injuries can also lead to numbness or tingling and an obvious deformity. With both cartilage and bone injuries, you may have difficulty using affected joints.
Getting treatment for your cartilage or bone injury
Don’t delay treatment for a bone or cartilage injury since both conditions can lead to long-term complications if ignored.
Once diagnosed with a cartilage or bone injury, Dr. Fisher recommends a personalized treatment plan, which may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Bracing or orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Steroid injections
Dr. Fisher also provides joint preservation treatments to slow the progression of joint problems and stave off complications.
These treatments can reduce your pain and enhance your mobility for a better quality of life.
To learn more about cartilage and bone injuries or get started with the care you need, call one of our convenient locations or book an appointment through our website today.