Sports Knee Injuries / The Knee
Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue that is found throughout the body. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber as it covers the surface of joints, allowing bones to slide over one another while reducing friction and preventing damage. The one disadvantage that cartilage has is that unlike other types of tissue it does not have a blood supply, and blood cells help repair tissue damage; therefore, the damaged cartilage may not heal quickly or at all. One of the most common, and potentially serious, types of cartilage damage is to the articular cartilage that is between joints.
Symptoms of articular cartilage damage include swelling, joint pain, stiffness, decreased range of movement in the affected joint and joints that lock or catch. The pain may prevent involvement in normal activities.